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Eye On Boise

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2007


Otter vetoes bowling alley smoking ban

Gov. Butch Otter has just vetoed HB 121, the bill to ban smoking in Idaho bowling alleys. “Given legislative concerns about ‘social engineering,’ particularly in regard to my proposal for targeted expansion of the grocery tax credit, in the interest of consistency it seems reasonable...

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2007


GOP senators talk GARVEE

The Senate Republican caucus has emerged after long hours in caucus debating over the GARVEE bonding plan. “We’ve got a ways to go, but we’re talking about doing something with GARVEE,” said Caucus Chairman Brad Little, R-Emmett. Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, said he’s glad...

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Having fun in State Affairs

After dealing with topics such as restricting Idaho's primaries and making English Idaho's official language, the House State Affairs Committee tackled a less controversial topic this morning, reports Parker Howell: who showed up to meetings earliest. Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, distributed prizes to the earliest...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2007





Senate backs overriding Panhandle Health rule

The Senate has voted 23-8 in favor of legislation rejecting stricter septic system rules for North Idaho, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. Concerned that Panhandle Health District rules will hinder development by requiring larger drain fields and septic tanks, especially on expensive lakefront property, Panhandle...

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MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007


Grocery tax bill clears House with just 6 no votes

A bill increasing Idaho's personal grocery tax credit to $60 quietly passed the House this morning, leaving only Gov. Butch Otter to sign off on the measure. Otter originally requested more relief targeted toward low-income Idahoans, and it's unclear whether he will veto it sometime...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2007

Dancers rattle capitol

A troop of young Irish dancers rocked capitol reporters today – literally, reports Parker Howell. The Treasure Valley girls from the An Daire Academy of Irish Dance performed in the first-floor Statehouse rotunda in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, ringlets flying, shaking the reporters’ work...

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House sends parental consent bill to governor

SB 1082a, which requires parental consent for minors’ abortions, passed the House this morning on a 53-14 vote, after much debate. The bill previously passed the Senate and now goes to the governor’s desk. “This is a very, very important decision in a young person’s...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2007

Non-compete bill brings fiery debate, defeat

Last-minute IACI legislation to enforce non-compete clauses against Idaho employees was defeated in the Senate this afternoon, after a dramatic debate that earned a rare rebuke for a senator’s use of “profanity.” Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo, loudly criticized the debate of Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise,...

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ATV bill shot down in Senate committee

North Idaho ATV riders have at least one more year to ride on paved roads following a Senate committee's vote against a bill to outlaw them on some highways. The Senate Transportation Committee voted 7-1 against HB 187, which would have required local governments to...

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The House has concurred

By unanimous consent, the House just concurred in the Senate amendments to the grocery tax increase bill, HB 81. “The amendments that came back from the Senate on the grocery tax credit bill simply bumped down the values for everybody from $50 to $40 and...

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Fuel tax bill passes Senate committee

HB 249, the bill to impose a Dec. 1 deadline on negotiations between Idaho Indian tribes and the governor over fuel taxes, passed the Senate Local Government & Tax Commttee this morning on a 6-3 vote, and now heads to the full Senate. Sens. Brent...

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2007

Full house, no decision

There was a full house this afternoon for the Senate committee hearing on the tribal fuel tax bill, HB 249. But the committee barely had time to take testimony; it put off its debate and vote to tomorrow, in part because several committee members were...

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Teachers object, Nonini not moved

Idaho teachers oppose a proposed salary plan allowing them to trade tenure for more pay and want to play a role in considering alternatives, S-R reporter Parker Howell reports, and they told lawmakers that this morning. At an informational hearing in the Gold Room on...

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House defeats state lottery budget

In a 34-34 tie vote, the Idaho House has defeated the budget bill for the state Lottery Commission. The problem? “An objection to the use of children in advertising the lottery,” according to Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart, D-Boise, who led the opposition. “The objection is not...

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A squabble over highway bonding

What a squabble that was in JFAC this morning over GARVEE bonding. The successful plan lists out this spending, totaling $246 million, for the next round of highway bonds: - $23 million for Garwood to Sagle on U.S. Highway 95 in North Idaho - $12...

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ISU gets go-ahead, not money

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has voted unanimously to let Idaho State University proceed with its plans to purchase of the former Jabil Circuits plant in Meridian, but not to give the school $5 million for the project. Backers had brought a last-minute request for $5...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2007

Otter makes Brandt a county commissioner

Former state Sen. Skip Brandt, R-Kooskia, who gave up his Senate seat to run unsuccessfully for Congress last year, was appointed to an opening on the Idaho County Commission today by Gov. Butch Otter. Brandt, 42, succeeds Commissioner John Schurbon, who died on Feb. 27...

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Eye On Boise

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