Eye On Boise archive for April 7, 2011

THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 2011

Last day matches prickly session... 

The Senate killed a hard-fought energy compromise by one vote, the House speaker booted two moderates out of their committee chairmanships, and Idaho's wild 2011 legislative session ground to a finish Thursday after 88 days - the seventh-longest session in state history, and clearly one...

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'A dreadful exclamation point'

House Speaker Lawerence Denney's sudden moves to replace two committee chairmen - Reps. Leon Smith at Transportation and Tom Trail at Agriculture - announced quietly just as the House was adjourning, sent shock waves through the House. Denney said he made the move to enforce...

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Denney pulls committee chairmanships from Trail, Smith 

House Speaker Lawerence Denney has removed two of the most independent-voting committee chairmen in the House: Transportation Chairman Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, and Agriculture Chairman Tom Trail, R-Moscow, as punishment for not voting with leadership on procedural votes, including moves to call bills from committee,...

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Members of the Idaho House applaud after the gavel fell on the 2011 session for the final time on Thursday afternoon. (Betsy Russell)

House adjourns for the year 

The gavel fell, and the House adjourned for the year at 2:21 p.m. "This has been a very difficult session," said House Speaker Lawerence Denney. "I do apologize for the little scarf incident yesterday. I take responsibility for that. I don't want to make any...

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Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, center, visits with other senators shortly after the Senate adjourned for the year on Thursday. (Betsy Russell)

Goedde: 'Proud of work we've done' 

Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, said it's been a "difficult" legislative session for him. "I'm proud of the work that we've done in the education reform arena," he said, "and it's a good first step. As we go to implement it, there may...

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Pro-megaload bill passes, heads to guv

HB 193a, the pro-megaloads bill designed to block lawsuits targeting big loads on Idaho roads, has cleared the House as amended in the Senate, on a 55-12 vote. "It'll help hopefully to curtail some lawsuits and save the state some money," Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St....

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Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, visits with Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, and Speaker Lawerence Denney during the House's lunch break on Thursday, with boxes piled up outside the chamber in anticipation of adjournment, which could still be several hours away.  (Betsy Russell)

Focus shifts to House for final action...

It's in the House that the remaining business of the legislative session will be done; but one thing's clear: This morning's exercise, in which a new charter school cap-lifting bill was introduced in a hastily-called Ways & Means Committee meeting, then passed on the floor...

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Gavel falls, Senate adjourns 

At 12:36 p.m., the gavel fell in the Senate, and it adjourned sine die for the legislative session. Perhaps the oddest moment of the Senate's closing presentations - not counting the singing, which is more typical of the House - came when Sen. Melinda Smyser,...

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How they voted...

Here's how senators voted on HB 347, the renewable energy compromise bill that was killed by one vote in the final decision of the Senate's session this year: Voting in favor: Sens. Bair, Bock, Brackett, Cameron, Darrington, Hammond, Heider, Hill, Keough, LeFavour, Malepeai, McGee, McKague,...

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Senate kills energy compromise

In a surprise move, the Senate has just voted 17-18 on HB 347, the renewable energy rebate - killing the bill. It was the first piece of a two-bill compromise on energy policy. Immediately after the vote, the Senate went at ease. Then, Sen. Curt...

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House breaks for Ways & Means meeting 

The House has taken a break for a Ways & Means Committee meeting to introduce a new bill that Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, said "we need to get over to the Senate." The committee has posted an agenda showing that it'll consider a new...

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