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Stimulus promises jobs for Silver Valley

Thanks to the federal economic stimulus bill, there'll be 70 new seasonal jobs in North Idaho's Silver Valley this summer and next as part of the Bunker Hill cleanup. "It's doubling the effort for two years," said Toni Hardesty, director of the state Department of Environmental Quality. The Bunker Hill cleanup funding is one of five pots of money Hardesty has identified in the stimulus bill that will benefit Idaho if the state DEQ applies for funds. She's submitted proposals to Gov. Butch Otter, and briefed legislative budget writers on the prospect this morning.

In every case, the money meets criteria that Otter's laid out: It wouldn't require Idaho to commit to state funding in future years; it wouldn't require the hiring on of full-time Idaho state employees; and  it wouldn't require the state to start new programs. Said Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, "It puts people to work doing things that need to be done." You can read my full story here at

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.