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Eye On Boise

FRIDAY, JAN. 5, 2007

It's the very same number...

Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, after the loud blasts of the 19-gun salute that marked the inauguration of new Gov. Butch Otter, wondered to friends, “Is there any relationship between the 19 shots and the number of Democrats in the House?” There are now 19 Democrats...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 4, 2007

It's Senator McKague

Gov. Butch Otter has named the replacement for Sen. Gerry Sweet, R-Meridian, who resigned to work for new Congressman Bill Sali: It’s longtime state Rep. Shirley McKague, R-Meridian. McKague, a conservative, has served quietly in the House for the past decade. She’s a Nampa High...

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Overflow seating added

With such high interest in the Jan. 22 Al Gore global warming lecture at BSU, the university has just announced that it’ll make available free overflow seating for those who want to watch a live video feed of the lecture. That’ll be in the Special...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 2, 2007

Getting ready to have a ball

Possibly the coolest thing about Idaho’s traditional Inaugural Ball, which is coming up on Saturday at 7 p.m., is that it really is open to the public. Tickets are $20 for everyone – even for legislators and their spouses who will be participating in the...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 28, 2006

Bowl game bet

BOISE – Gov. Jim Risch has placed a friendly wager with Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry on the outcome of the Fiesta Bowl, in which Boise State will take on the Oklahoma Sooners on New Year’s Day. "All Idahoans are excited about this game against Oklahoma...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 22, 2006

Risch roadless plan accepted by feds

Gov. Jim Risch’s proposal on how to manage 9.3 million acres of roadless federal lands in Idaho has been approved by the U.S. secretary of agriculture, and will proceed with environmental analysis and public comment as part of formal rulemaking. “It is not often that...

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Getting paid for not working

A state agency deputy director who was replaced last June is still on the state payroll, drawing his full $87,000-a-year salary through Dec. 31 even though he hasn’t come to work since June 8.That’s the highest-cost example this year of the use of paid administrative...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 20, 2006

Groups call on Simpson, Sali to back Pelosi agenda

An array of activist groups led by United Vision for Idaho held a press conference today to call on Congressman Mike Simpson and Congressman-elect Bill Sali, both Republicans, to back key elements of new Democratic U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s economic agenda for the first...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 19, 2006

Wolf delisting in the works

The head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says his agency will start removing federal protections from gray wolves in Montana and Idaho by January – even if Wyoming hasn’t come up with an acceptable wolf management plan. Wyoming’s lack of such a plan...

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MONDAY, DEC. 18, 2006

'Another gem for the Gem State'

Gov. Jim Risch held what’s likely to be his last official press conference in his term as governor today, to announce that the Nature Conservancy is giving the state a big gift – the Thousand Springs Reserve and Ritter Island on the Snake River for...

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Otter sending more agency heads packing

Gov.-elect Butch Otter has notified three more current state agency heads that they won’t be staying on for his administration, meaning they’ll be leaving their jobs at the end of this month: Pam Ahrens, Department of Administration; Carolyn Terteling-Payne, Human Resources; and Rayola Jacobson, Occupational...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 15, 2006

Comings and goings

Sen. Gerry Sweet, R-Meridian, is resigning from the state Senate to join the staff of new 1st District GOP Congressman Bill Sali. Sweet will head up Sali’s district offices in Idaho. That means the Republican party’s legislative district committee must submit three nominations to the...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 14, 2006

The full story on state bonuses

Lost amid the criticism in the past two weeks of outgoing Democratic state schools Superintendent Marilyn Howard for giving most of her employees year-end bonuses was the fact that most state agency heads are doing the same – and lawmakers directed them to do just...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 13, 2006

TUESDAY, DEC. 12, 2006

MONDAY, DEC. 11, 2006

It really is new math

A sampling of the numbers from five legislative sessions over the past 15 years shows that never before, in any of those sessions, has either house held the minority party to fewer seats on the joint budget committee than its entitlement based on its percentage...

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FRIDAY, DEC. 8, 2006

Doing the math

With the open warfare today between the new House GOP leadership team and the House minority caucus – Democrats walked out of the House today en masse after new Speaker Lawerence Denney decided they shouldn’t gain a single seat on the joint budget committee even...

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Denney flexes political muscle, Democrats walk out

The House has just announced its new committee assignments and chairmanships, and the new GOP leadership team decided to keep Democrats at just two seats on the House portion of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee – the same number that Democrats held last year before they...

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THURSDAY, DEC. 7, 2006

Senate: 'We're organized'

Idaho’s state Senate has finished assigning chairmanships and committee memberships and adjourned its organizational session. The House, on the other hand, still has to come back tomorrow to finish the job. In the final list in the Senate, new Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, ended...

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Putting together the puzzle

It’s hurry up and wait at the Statehouse today, as legislative leaders puzzle over how to fit together the jigsaw of committee assignments and chairmanships. The House has adjourned until 8 a.m. tomorrow, admitting it won’t get it done today, but the Senate is still...

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Taking the seats of power

Newly elected (or re-elected) state lawmakers took their oaths of office this morning, and then launched right into the nitty-gritty of legislative politics – jockeying for committee assignments and chairmanships. That will last for hours, and possibly into tomorrow. But first, in the House, came...

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'We don't have a lady this year'

House Republicans generally praised all their leadership candidates last night after the votes were taken for remaining civil. Rep. Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d’Alene, complimented the GOP leadership hopefuls for remaining "gentlemen," then added wistfully, "I can say 'gentlemen.' We don't have a lady this year."...

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Denney is the new House speaker

Conservative Rep. Lawerence Denney of Midvale was elected speaker of the Idaho House tonight after a close-fought race with moderate Rep. Bill Deal of Nampa. Meanwhile, Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, lost his own leadership bid for assistant majority leader in the House to Rep....

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Eye On Boise

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