There's a near-capacity crowd at the somber hearing this afternoon in the House Health & Welfare Committee, even though the most controversial of the rule changes being considered there already has won approval from the Senate Health & Welfare Committee; rules stand unless they're rejected by the panels in both houses. "They still need to hear our opposition to it," said Kelly Buckland, executive director of the State Independent Living Council. Advocates for the disabled maintain some of the budget cuts the rules implement will hurt disabled Idahoans without actually saving the state money, if the cuts in treatment hours force cause patients' conditions to regress and mean they need more expensive, longer-lasting treatment instead. "All it does is shift the cost somewhere else," Buckland said.
Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.