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Eye On Boise

TUESDAY, FEB. 13, 2007

Things are just super

At this morning’s Land Board meeting – the first for new board members Gov. Butch Otter, state Controller Donna Jones and state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna – Otter referred to Luna as “Super Luna.” A bemused Luna responded to Otter, “Super Governor.”

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Bill would undermine negotiations with tribes

Legislation introduced yesterday by House GOP leaders would undermine ongoing negotiations between the governor’s office and Idaho Indian tribes. Here’s how: The bill would impose the state's tax on reservation gas sales but suspend its application if a tribe reaches agreement with the governor's office...

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MONDAY, FEB. 12, 2007

Otter signs first bills

Gov. Butch Otter has signed his first batch of bills – and they include HB 29, the $1.7 million supplemental appropriation to finish renovating the old Ada County Courthouse to house the next two – or three – legislative sessions while the capitol is renovated....

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Second time’s the charm

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, successfully introduced a bill today to require party registration in Idaho – a bill the House State Affairs Committee had refused to introduce last week, without noticing that the co-sponsors included the entire House GOP leadership team. A trip to the...

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Panel unanimously rejects Harwood church bill

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, proposed legislation this morning in the House State Affairs Committee to exempt churches from workers compensation laws, but the committee voted unanimously to return the bill to Harwood for more work. Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, an attorney who handles workers...

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Waiting for the big bills as budget deadlines loom…

Legislative budget writers are struggling with how they’re going to budget for a newly split-apart Commerce and Labor department – when the Otter Administration hasn’t even yet presented legislation to split the department into two agencies. House Appropriations Chair Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, told Otter’s budget...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 10, 2007


High school students get crash course in Idaho politics

From driving go-karts with North Idaho representatives to sitting through lengthy committee meetings, several high school seniors from North Idaho spent the past month trading textbooks for a crash course in Idaho politics. Read S-R reporter Parker Howell’s full story here on the pages’ experience...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 9, 2007

THURSDAY, FEB. 8, 2007

'Axles 101'

Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, conducted a little class for his fellow members of the Senate Transportation Committee just now entitled “Axles 101,” complete with some huge props – giant trucks parked in front of the state capitol, and glossy posters and about how Idaho...

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House passes grocery tax credit hike

The House has just voted 62-7 to pass HB 81, Rep. Cliff Bayer’s bill to raise the grocery tax credit from $20 to $50 for everyone, and from $35 to $70 for seniors. The vote came after nearly an hour of debate, including sharp warnings...

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Lawmaker: Lowe should ask for a bonus

Pamela Lowe, the new ITD director, flew calmly through 48 pages of slides, charts, graphs, tables and solid information about everything that’s going on at the state Transportation Department in her presentation to JFAC this morning, and then, when members asked her extensive questions for...

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Budget writers have lots of GARVEE questions

JFAC members have been grilling new Transportation Director Pamela Lowe about GARVEE bonding plans for major highway improvements around the state. Senate Finance Chair Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, wondered whether the bond funds couldn’t be targeted toward actual construction costs that are ballooning, rather than also...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 7, 2007


Of camel's noses and tents

In a legislative cliché that’s perhaps second in popularity only to the acclaimed “slippery slope,” the “camel’s nose under the tent” made a starring appearance at the House Rev & Tax debate today over lowering the supermajority vote to form a community college district, a...

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The dramatic votes

There were three votes on HB 84, the bill to make it easier to form community college districts in Idaho – a key initiative of new Gov. Butch Otter. The measure would’ve lowered the supermajority to form a new district from two-thirds to 60 percent...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 6, 2007

Broadsword: Don't make kids into 'ping-pong balls'

Idaho shouldn’t have exceptions from its child safety seat law for overcrowded cars without enough seatbelts or for nursing infants, Sen. Joyce Broadsword told the Senate Transportation Committee today. “The children of our state are our most precious resource,” Broadsword, R-Sagle, told the committee.She said...

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Common Interest to focus on election reform

The Common Interest is planning to focus on election reform issues this year – including hot topics like vote-by-mail and changes in the primary system. Here’s a report from S-R reporter Parker Howell:A citizen group influential in last year’s property tax debate will lobby for...

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Partisan fur flies over rejected leadership bill

A cagey House Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts wouldn’t say yesterday why House Republicans went into a hastily called, closed-door caucus, saying only, “We had some family stuff to talk about, a family meeting.” But his secret is out now, as partisan fur is flying...

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House backs human rights resolution, some dissent

A resolution declaring Idaho legislators’ support for human rights passed the House overwhelmingly on Monday, but nine members voted against it – including three from North Idaho. Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, said North Idaho doesn't need any reminders that it once was home to...

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MONDAY, FEB. 5, 2007

It'll cost less to hunt wolves

The Senate Resources Committee today agreed to introduce legislation from the Fish and Game Department setting up a program to allow hunting of wolves in Idaho once the animal is removed from the federal endangered species list, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. But the Fish...

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Eye On Boise

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