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Eye On Boise

FRIDAY, JAN. 21, 2005

Changing the rules

Senate Republican leaders want to change the Senate’s internal rules to allow official Senate committee meetings to be closed for any reason. They also want to delete a section of the Senate’s internal rules that notes that if there’s a conflict between the rules and...

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Not what she said

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, had questions when legislative budget writers were reviewing budget requests from the state’s public health districts. Among them: Why, when an employee retires, they get credit only for half of their unused sick leave, rather than all of it. Some...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 20, 2005

Senators impressed by judges

Senators on the Health & Welfare Committee were so impressed by a presentation from 1st District Judge John T. Mitchell from Coeur d’Alene and 7th District Judge Brent Moss from Idaho Falls that they want to see the two judges’ “mental health courts” expanded statewide....

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Fish are people too?

Those friendly folks at PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, put on a little demonstration in Boise today to let people know that “Fish are Friends, Not Food.”At the Skipper’s seafood restaurant, the group pushed its “fish empathy project,” which, according to the...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 19, 2005

And for the next act...

The entire state Capitol has turned into something of a three-ring circus today, with the first, second and third floors of its ornate central rotunda crowded with displays, booths, and crowds of browsers sampling Idaho products. It’s the annual “Buy Idaho” show, which showcases dozens...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 18, 2005

Not the conventional wisdom

Legislative budget writers usually talk about saving money by privatizing government services, but this morning, the Department of Health & Welfare told them they could save millions by doing the opposite – “in-sourcing” a bunch of information technology workers who now are outside contractors.“The state...

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MONDAY, JAN. 17, 2005

Everybody's doing it

Citing the many health benefits of cannabis, medical marijuana activist Tim Teater outlined a proposal to legalize the drug at a press conference at the Capitol this afternoon. In front a smattering of reporters and cameras, Teater said it’s time for Idaho to join other...

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So that's the word

What do you call a third-year college student who’s in her second year at North Idaho College? A “super-sophomore.” That’s according to Heather Erikson, NIC student body president and super-soph.

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THURSDAY, JAN. 13, 2005

Crow opens door

House Tax Chairwoman Dolores Crow, R-Nampa, has cracked open the door to reconsidering Idaho’s numerous sales tax exemptions. For years, Crow has been the chief opponent of re-examining exemptions, and has thwarted attempts. But this week, she said it might be time to take another...

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Unemployment compromise reached

Here’s an unlikely prospect: Business and labor sitting down together to work out a plan for increased unemployment taxes on businesses and reduced benefits for workers. But that’s really what’s happened. Today, the state Department of Commerce and Labor unveiled compromise legislation on Idaho’s unemployment...

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Two Shepherds among the flock

There are two Rep. Shepherds in the House of Representatives now – Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard, now is joined by Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, who defeated longtime Democratic Rep. Chuck Cuddy in the fall election. To make matters just a bit more confusing, when...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 11, 2005

Safety in the Statehouse

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne had just finished detailing all the safety problems in the state Capitol, as part of his pitch in his State of the State address for renovating the historic structure.“Thousands of children visit this building every year,” the governor said. “Yet the only...

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MONDAY, JAN. 10, 2005

Activists rally for health care

Less than an hour after the legislature convened, backers of an all-inclusive health care system gathered on the Capitol steps to plead their case.With white signs that read “Insure Idaho!” about 150 Idahoans rallied over rising health and prescription drug costs, the increasing burden on...

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SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2005

The Legislature's here

At noon on Monday, the House and Senate will convene, and then, at 7 p.m. Mountain time, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne will give his combined State of the State address and budget message to a joint session of the Idaho Legislature. This is it – the...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 4, 2005

9th Circuit says 'pimp' can be compliment

According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, “rollin’ deep” means “driving along in a cool car;” “kick flavor” means “to perform, to be entertaining; to “scope” means to “evaluate a member of the opposite sex visually;” and a “hottie” is “an attractive or sexually...

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MONDAY, JAN. 3, 2005

New justice sworn in

Former Idaho Attorney General Jim Jones donned the black robe and took his seat Monday as Idaho’s newest state Supreme Court justice. After Chief Justice Gerald F. Schroeder administered the oath of office to Jones, there were some remarks by people who have known and...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29, 2004

Could they top Taco Bell Arena?

There’s been plenty of controversy over the sale of naming rights to Boise State University’s indoor stadium, the Pavilion, which resulted in it being renamed Taco Bell Arena (really). In addition to the obvious question of taste, students and faculty were angry over the $4...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 23, 2004

One more theory

Longtime Idaho political observer and Idaho Falls Post-Register editorial page editor Marty Trillhaase recently expounded another theory for why Butch Otter announced so early that he’s running for governor in 2006 – so early that it was before Otter even took his oath of office...

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MONDAY, DEC. 20, 2004

The rumor mill

Why did Butch Otter announce his ’06 bid for governor so soon – before he’d even been sworn in for the two-year congressional term to which he’s just been elected?One theory is that Otter wanted to scare off his likely primary opponent, current Idaho Lieutenant...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 14, 2004

'You all passed'

Here’s Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s final comment after Idaho’s electoral college votes were formally cast on Monday:“That would conclude the electoral college – you have all passed.”

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THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2004

Protesters get community service

Eleven protesters, including former Rep. Henry Kulczyk, R-Eagle, were convicted this week of resisting and obstructing an officer when they tried to physically block the city of Boise from removing a Ten Commandments monument from a remote spot in a city park last March. The...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 7, 2004

New adjutant general

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne introduces Brigadier General Lawrence Frank Lafrenz, right. Adjutant General Jack Kane is at left.In the midst of the largest deployment of the Idaho National Guard in the state’s history, Idaho’s Guard is getting a new leader.Adjutant General Jack Kane will retire on...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 2, 2004

Whoops, not THAT seat

At the organizational session of the Legislature today, members got the chance to pick the seats in the chambers that they’ll occupy for the next two years. Seat-picking goes in order of seniority, so new Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, was among the last to pick....

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1, 2004

Cities have problems too

Post Falls city finance director Shelly Enderud noted that cities in Idaho are facing tax-related problems, too."Citizens feel there is an ever-increasing tax burden with declining services," she told the Associated Taxpayers conference. "To a certain extent that's true - our revenue has not kept...

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 24, 2004

It was that close

You might have thought the elections were over in Idaho, but in one Boise-area legislative race, the result’s been in question all this time. First-term Rep. Kathie Garrett, R-Boise, initially beat Democratic challenger Sean Spence by just nine votes, a super-thin margin that led to...

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Eye On Boise

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