Arrow-right Camera

Eye On Boise

THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2005

Water funding bill in the works?

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, dropped a somewhat tantalizing hint as she was pitching the Idaho Department of Water Resources budget bill to the Senate this morning. She had noted that the budget includes funding for a feasibility analysis of adjudicating water rights in the Coeur...

Continue reading this post »

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2005

GARVEE bonds pass Senate

In the end, there were only four votes against Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s proposal to fund $1.6 billion in highway construction through GARVEE bonds, which bond against future federal highway allocations. The measure cleared the Senate on a 30-4 vote, after a bid to amend the...

Continue reading this post »


What lurks under the dome

Workers who have been cleaning and repairing the state Capitol dome have discovered something interesting as they work on the small dome that sits atop the larger dome, 288 feet up in the air. The smaller dome has a silver coating, but it’s just layers...

Continue reading this post »

TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2005

Just don't look back

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, was carrying a bill on penalties for inattentive driving when House Majority Leader Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, interrupted him with this question: “Would this take care of the driving habits of the gentleman from (District) 1?”Harwood responded, “I’m not sure anything...

Continue reading this post »


Dead, dead, dead - times seven

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee officially killed seven homeowner property-tax relief bills this morning, opting instead to call for an interim committee to study the issue and develop proposals for next year.Meanwhile, North Idaho folks are planning to rally for property tax reform Thursday...

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2005

License plate bill against license plate bills

Rep. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, got worked up enough as she ran down the list of causes that want new specialty license plates in Idaho that she told the House there are even proposals to benefit “spraying and neutering of pets.”Wood, the House Transportation chairwoman, sponsored...

Continue reading this post »


Of all things

The Idaho National Guard has been plenty busy of late, what with its largest deployment in history under way. But now comes word that the Guard has discovered a new species of wildlife – never seen before – on its training site in southern Idaho.“This...

Continue reading this post »

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2005

Nez Perce agreement heads to full Senate

There was just one “no” vote, from Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, as the Senate State Affairs Committee voted this morning to approve the landmark Nez Perce Water Rights Agreement. The pact now heads to the full Senate. If it passes there, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has...

Continue reading this post »


A birthday budget

After months and months of intensive study and long hearings by a variety of committees and subcommittees, lawmakers set a budget for Medicaid this morning that adds $10 million above the governor’s recommendation to cover expected increases in caseloads. That comes after every other piece...

Continue reading this post »

THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2005

Clark chairs first meeting - finally

Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, chaired his first committee meeting today – two months into the legislative session. That’s because the panel that he chairs, the House Ways & Means Committee, typically isn’t called into session until the speaker of the House wants to quickly...

Continue reading this post »

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2005

Noh more to say

Former longtime Sen. Laird Noh was in the midst of his testimony on the Nez Perce water rights agreement when Senate State Affairs Chairman Don Burtenshaw, R-Terreton, cut him off – his three minutes were up.“Y’know, I’ve always wanted to do that,” Burtenshaw said to...

Continue reading this post »


Nez Perce hearing

So far, today’s Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on the Nez Perce water rights agreement is a little more low-key than the earlier House committee hearings. Only about 100 people are in the audience at Boise City Hall, while two or three times that many...

Continue reading this post »

TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2005

Land board mad at legislators

Idaho’s Land Board members – who include the governor, the attorney general, the state superintendent of schools, the secretary of state and the state controller – are ticked at the Legislature for backing them into a corner on school endowment funding.The Land Board a year...

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2005

Bicycle bill rolls on through

Sen. Joyce Broadsword’s compromise bill on when bicyclists should have to stop for red lights cleared the Senate today on a 29-3 vote, with the only surprise by that point being that anyone voted against it.From a brouhaha that had cyclists swarming committee hearings and...

Continue reading this post »

FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2005

Noble's statement to the Senate

Sen. Jack Noble submitted this written statement to the Senate this afternoon:“Dear Mr. President: I was present this morning with council(sic) in the Senate Committee on Ethics for the debate and adoption of the Report on my conduct. I was extended every courtesy, treated fairly,...

Continue reading this post »


Senate-passed bills went in 'a hole'

House Speaker Bruce Newcomb has assigned a bill to expand family-planning services to more low-income Idaho women to a House committee that some of the bill’s backers consider a black hole. The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Hayden Lake GOP Rep. Jim Clark,...

Continue reading this post »


Panel votes to censure Noble

The Senate Ethics Committee has voted to censure Sen. Jack Noble, R-Kuna, for ethics violations, after a vote to expel him from the Senate failed on a 3-3 party-line vote.If the full Senate approves the committee’s recommendation, Noble will be required to stand in the...

Continue reading this post »

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2005

Gettin' a legislative spanking

When House Majority Leader Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, asked for unanimous consent to move up the Nez Perce water rights agreement on the House calendar, as planned, Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, threw a wrench into the process by objecting. House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, who was celebrating...

Continue reading this post »

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2005

Ethics committee to reconvene Friday

The Senate Ethics Committee adopted its extremely damning findings and conclusions about Sen. Jack Noble (see below), but agreed to allow his attorney, former Idaho Attorney General and Lt. Gov. David Leroy, to submit a written response to those before they make their final decision....

Continue reading this post »


They basically say 'he did it'

The Senate Ethics Committee is now debating its findings and conclusions in its investigation of Sen. Jack Noble of Kuna. Its draft conclusions, which haven’t yet been adopted, are very serious:"1. The enactment of SB 1085 would have provided a potential personal monetary benefit to...

Continue reading this post »


Might he resign?

Rumors are running wild all over the Statehouse that embattled Sen. Jack Noble, R-Kuna, is about to resign. The Senate Ethics Committee is scheduled to meet in just over an hour to deliberate on whether he should be reprimanded, censured or expelled from the Senate...

Continue reading this post »

TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2005

What a squeaker!

Sandpoint Sen. Shawn Keough’s passionate defense of SB 1140, a measure to expand family planning services to more low-income Idaho women, helped pull off a one-vote victory today, as the bill passed the Senate on an 18-17 vote. Keough and other backers, including Senate Health...

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, FEB. 28, 2005

Limit on citizen testimony stands

Usually, anyone who wants to can testify at a public hearing on a local planning and zoning issue. But if it’s about a confined animal feeding operation – those big, smelly operations called CAFOs – only residents who live within a mile of the project...

Continue reading this post »


Revelation after revelation

As if Sen. Jack Noble’s ethical problems – the subject of the first Senate Ethics Committee investigation in 15 years – weren’t enough, more revelations keep piling up. On Saturday, the Idaho Statesman reported that the state has placed liens against Noble’s convenience store and...

Continue reading this post »

FRIDAY, FEB. 25, 2005

'I'm a loooooser!'

Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, earned himself the “crow” in the House this week for getting his bill, HB 129, overwhelmingly killed. The mock statue of a crow is presented to any representative whose bill or motion gets fewer than 20 votes. This time, Clark’s...

Continue reading this post »

Eye On Boise

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