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Eye On Boise

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 7, 2007

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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If she were governor…

House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, opened her pitch for her grocery tax relief bill with this comment: “Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I wish I were governor and had Michael Ferguson working for me. He made a good presentation.”Ferguson, Gov. Butch Otter’s...

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Hearing testimony favors Otter bill

The public hearing on the four grocery tax relief bills has just concluded, and here’s the overall score: After the sponsors of the four bills spoke, seven people testified. Four of the seven spoke in favor of Gov. Butch Otter’s targeted tax credit proposal, HB...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 2, 2007

Deputy director ends long paid leave

Here’s a follow-up to a story I reported on in December, when it turned out that a deputy director of the state Agriculture Department who was replaced last June was still on the state payroll, and was drawing his full $87,000-a-year salary through Dec. 31...

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Democrats push campaign finance reform

GOP senators bristled, harrumphed and took umbrage this morning when faced with legislation sponsored by all seven Democratic senators to start a public financing program for state campaigns in Idaho, and to require financial disclosure of state elected officials’ assets – saying backers of the...

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No guarantees on newest abortion bill

Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, introduced legislation this morning designed to require parental consent for minors’ abortions. Idaho already has passed such legislation three other times, only to have it overturned in court each time – with the state being ordered to pay court costs and...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 1, 2007


At least two Idahoans would pay $6k a bottle

Idaho’s state liquor dispensary has seen a huge jump in sales since 2002 – 87 percent – but not because Idahoans are necessarily boozing it up more. Instead, according to dispensary Superintendent Dyke Nally, the increase is coming from two things: population growth, and customers...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 31, 2007

Senator: Human life worth more than moose

Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, just convinced the Senate Judiciary Committee to endorse his bill to revoke hunting privileges for life for anyone who shoots someone while hunting and then is convicted of manslaughter. “It seems to me that a person’s life is worth more...

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Four grocery tax bills introduced

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee has agreed unanimously to introduce four grocery tax bills: One from Gov. Butch Otter to create his targeted grocery tax credit, which gives a much higher credit to low-income Idahoans and costs the state an additional $22 million a...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 30, 2007

9th Circuit: Field burning is illegal in Idaho

Field-burning has actually been illegal in Idaho under federal law since 1993, a federal appeals court ruled today. “This decision shows that the handwriting is on the wall for field-burning in Idaho,” said David Baron, a Washington, D.C. attorney with Earthjustice, which represented Safe Air...

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Idahoans differ from their lawmakers on energy proposals

According to a new statewide poll, Idahoans see availability of renewable resources as the state’s top energy priority and support using both incentives and regulations to cause change, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell – positions considerably more aggressive than those embodied in state energy plan...

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Wings plan presented amid questions

The compromise plan between the governor and the Legislature over adding underground “wings” to the state capitol is being presented to the state Capitol Commission now, but not without some concerns being raised. Sen. Chuck Coiner, R-Twin Falls, told the commission, “I stand very reluctantly.”...

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MONDAY, JAN. 29, 2007

New chamber alliance lists legislative agenda

The new Idaho Chamber Alliance has adopted these issues as its legislative agenda this year: Supporting an expanded community college system, including lowering the supermajority to form a new community college district. Increasing high school graduation requirements in math and science. Supporting local-option taxation to...

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Eye On Boise

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