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Eye On Boise

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2007

Romney stops in 'small corner of America'

Here’s Parker Howell’s report on a stop by presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the state capitol today:A solitary figure speaking from the steps of the Idaho Statehouse Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney seemed unfazed when a sign-wielding protester shouted questions...

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'They could send it back'

Gov. Butch Otter was none too pleased with the job the Senate did this morning amending the grocery tax credit bill, and, in comments to the Idaho Press Club just an hour after the Senate vote, bolstered the threats some senators had alluded to that...

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Two amendments up this time

The Senate has just gone into its 14th Order to consider amendments, and there are two amendments up for HB 81, the grocery tax bill. One is from Sens. Russ Fulcher and Brent Hill, to just adjust the amount of the increase in the grocery...

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MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2007

General warns of 'bad guys'

The commander of U.S. forces in Japan is an Idahoan, and today he made several presentations to lawmakers at the state capitol. Here’s S-R reporter Parker Howell’s report:Idaho native Lt. Gen. Bruce "Orville" Wright, commander of U.S. military forces in Japan, praised cooperation between the...

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About the official language…

Editorial writer Tom Henderson of the Lewiston Tribune had this line in an editorial today: “And here you probably thought Idaho already had an official language. Judging from the Legislature, you probably thought it was gibberish.”

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House opposes pact with Canada, Mexico

The Idaho House has voted to back a non-binding memorial to Congress opposing an international pact with Mexico and Canada. Here’s Parker Howell’s report:The United States should withdraw from an international pact with Canada and Mexico because it would be a road to security risks...

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JFAC sets ITD budget, puts off GARVEE

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has set the budget for the Idaho Transportation Department, the last remaining state agency budget to be set – but has delayed a decision on GARVEE bonding. Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, said the joint committee hopes to get to...

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Shift to homeowners continues

Even after lawmakers last year raised the homeowner's exemption for the first time in a quarter-century, owners of residential property are continuing to pick up a bigger and bigger share of Idaho's property tax burden, while the share for other types of property – businesses,...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2007


No debate on controversial ATV bill

The House on Thursday voted unanimously – with no debate – to pass HB 187 to ban all-terrain vehicles from paved city and county roads unless local governments pass rules allowing them, a measure strongly opposed by Panhandle ATV riders and sheriffs. Read Parker Howell’s...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2007

Governor cancels live statewide TV appearance

Gov. Butch Otter had been scheduled to appear on Idaho Public TV’s “Idaho Reports” this Friday night and take calls from the public in a live broadcast, but he’s canceled due to illness. His office reported that Otter may have bronchitis, and is canceling all...

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Amendments, amendments

The House is in its amending order now, amending HB 245, the bill from IACI to phase in the elimination of the personal property tax on business equipment. Democrats offered an amendment to trim the business tax cut back to just its first year –...

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That's it for now...

The Senate has now dissolved its Committee of the Whole Senate without successfully approving any amendments to the grocery tax bill, HB 81, but the bill remains on the amending order. When formally reporting to the Senate the progress of the Committee of the Whole,...

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Debate is on regarding amending grocery tax

The Senate is in its 14th Order, debating possible amendments to HB 81, the grocery tax credit increase bill. Five possible amendments were filed, but Sen. David Langhorst, D-Boise, withdrew one as the debate began, saying, “We have worked to achieve a compromise.”The amendments range...

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Last-minute university plan raises eyebrows

Idaho State University is asking for $5 million for a project in Meridian, where the university wants to buy and renovate part of the former Jabil Circuits plant, which is now owned by the Meridian School District. Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, said the facility would...

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Tax deed bill dies in committee

Legislation from Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, to force counties to return surplus proceeds to owners when it auctions off properties for unpaid taxes died in a Senate committee on Wednesday, after earlier passing the House 43-26. Read Parker Howell’s full story here in today’s Spokesman-Review.

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2007


Rev & Tax kills public transit tax

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee, after hearings that stretched for two days, has voted 11-7 against legislation to allow a local option sales tax to fund public transit, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. The bill was heavily backed by Treasure Valley interests, because the...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2007

Not exactly appetizing...

Rep. Scott Bedke was telling the Idaho Press Club a story about how well lawmakers and Gov. Butch Otter get along, by remembering a time several found the governor in his office in the early morning and came in to visit. “We went in and...

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MONDAY, MARCH 5, 2007

Citizen legislators juggle interests

Jeff Siddoway sells hunting trips for "monster elk" on his private eastern Idaho ranch. He's also a Republican state senator, reports AP reporter John Miller. So when Siddoway helped kill a bill to outlaw "shooter-bull" operations – there are 17 in Idaho, including his –...

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Supreme Court issues water ruling

The Idaho Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited water ruling, and it reversed the lower court, which had declared unconstitutional Idaho’s rules for “conjunctive management” of surface and groundwater. Instead, the high court upheld those rules, plus settled various related questions. “The resolution of those...

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Pages put pinch on House

House pages have decided to officially move St. Patrick’s Day from its usual March 17th date, which falls on a Saturday this year, to Friday the 16th – at least for the House. House members were just warned that members who don’t wear green on...

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Eye On Boise

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