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Eye On Boise

THURSDAY, FEB. 22, 2007

Bill bans funeral protests

Funerals for both soldiers and gay people may become off-limits to disruptive protesters under a bill lawmakers advanced Wednesday, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. Sponsored by Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest River, HB 194 aims to prevent anti-war protesters from disrupting Idaho military funerals, as they...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 21, 2007

Let's do what?!

Thank S-R reporter Parker Howell for the following report:Members of the House State Affairs Committee heavily razzed Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, this morning for bringing them another bill for consideration. The committee is one of a few with the privilege to introduce legislation this...

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CAFO testimony bill passes Senate, 30-4

The Senate has just voted 30-4 in favor of SB 1056, legislation to remove the current one-mile residency limit on who can testify at a public hearing on siting of a confined animal feeding operation. The current law says only those whose primary residence is...

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No decision yet on business tax break bill

There was so much testimony for and against that the big hearing in the Gold Room this morning on HB 206, IACI’s bill to eliminate the personal property tax over the next eight years, was continued to Friday. The House Rev & Tax Committee will...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 20, 2007

First budget-setting: Not extravagant

Legislators began setting state agency budgets for next year today, and at least initially, they stuck fairly close to Gov. Butch Otter’s bare-bones budget recommendations. For the state Department of Environmental Quality, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee set a budget that increases the agency’s state funding...

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Senate passes wolf bill unanimously

The Idaho Senate has voted unanimously, 35-0, in favor of SB 1086, legislation to set up a system for hunting tags for wolves under state management once they’re removed from the endangered species list. “Let me tell you, hunting is part of the rural culture...

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Ban smoking in bowling alleys, unanimous committee says

The House State Affairs Committee has voted unanimously in favor of legislation to end the exemption for bowling alleys from Idaho’s ban on smoking in most public places, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. About 20 bowlers wearing bright-green stickers saying “Bowlers for Clean Air” crowded...

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What was with that veto?

When Gov. Butch Otter vetoed his first bill last week, few lawmakers were familiar with the low-profile proposal from the state Tax Commission, and even fewer were fired up about it. “It was a noncontroversial bill,” said Rep. David Langhorst, D-Boise, the bill's Senate floor...

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MONDAY, FEB. 19, 2007

'Day of Remembrance' proclaimed

Today has been declared a “Day of Remembrance” by Gov. Butch Otter to honor Japanese-Americans who were interned at concentration camps during World War II, including camps in Idaho. This is the sixth straight year that an Idaho governor has signed such a proclamation. “It...

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That's no rat, that's the governor

Standing on display along a side wall in the governor’s office is a real stuffed otter, holding tiny U.S. and Idaho flags. Gov. Butch Otter explains that the work of taxidermy was presented to him by the Safari Club International when he went off to...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 16, 2007

Clark pitches drug court expansion

Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was one of a parade of committee chairs to address the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee over the past two days. The joint committee is taking input from the germane committee chairs on the budgets for...

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Trouble with vote-by-mail bill?

The House has just voted 53-16 to return the vote-by-mail bill, HB 94, to the House State Affairs Committee, at the request of the chairman, Rep. Tom Loertscher. Loertscher said there was a problem with the bill that needed another look in committee. “This is...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 15, 2007

Otter signs liquor politics bill

Gov. Butch Otter has signed HB 2 into law, eliminating longstanding restrictions on political activity by employees of the state liquor dispensary. Dispensary chief Dyke Nally told lawmakers that his employees want to be free to have a political yard sign or attend a candidate...

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Consumer protection paying off for state

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden reported this morning that his Consumer Protection Unit recovered more than $1.6 million for Idaho consumers last year – the 16th consecutive year in which the amount recovered exceeded the state’s general fund budget appropriation for the consumer protection unit....

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It’s eco-something

Ted Rea, interim president of the Idaho Elk Breeders Association, was praising the elk farming industry after this morning’s Senate Agriculture Committee hearing when he made this slip: “This is just one form of eco-terror, eco-tourism.” After two hours of testimony and debate on four...

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Goedde says Idaho lost grant

Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, making his committee’s recommendations to JFAC this morning on the public school budget, said he’s disappointed to have to pass along a recommendation for an interim committee to study mentoring, master teachers and merit pay for teachers. Idaho...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 14, 2007

Who's a couch potato?

The House State Affairs Committee's lengthy debate about vote-by-mail legislation this morning included some exchanges in which committee members got a bit huffy. Here’s S-R reporter Parker Howell’s description:Some representatives accused fellow committee members of having little faith in common voters to be informed and...

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Packing 'em in

People are spilling out out both doorways from the House State Affairs Committee this morning as it holds a public hearing on vote-by-mail legislation.Meanwhile, Meanwhile, the House Education Committee has a full house in the Gold Room for two resolutions dealing with recognizing American Sign...

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Land Board wary of ditching float-home rent policy

If the state strictly limits the number of float-home moorings on state-owned lakes, is that a free market? State Land Board members indicated Tuesday that it's not – and questioned a recommendation from the state lands staff to repeal the board's reasonable-rent policy for float-home...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 13, 2007

Federal law like ‘The Matrix,’ lawmaker says

Civil liberties advocates and security experts say implementing a federal act ordering states to standardize driver’s licenses would be unfeasible, violate the privacy of law-abiding Americans and cost billions of dollars, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. Members of a four-person panel gathered in the Gold...

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Elk hearing draws hot crowd

Just how crowded was it at this morning’s hearing on elk farm legislation in the Gold Room, the capitol’s largest hearing room? S-R reporter Parker Howell reports that it was shoulder-to-shoulder, hot, sweaty, and packed as the Senate Ag Committee held public hearings on four...

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Eye On Boise

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