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Eye On Boise


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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 24, 2005

Dramatics at Senate ethics panel

During the Senate Ethics Committee meeting today, accused Sen. Jack Noble, R-Kuna, brought in a prominent lawyer, admitted he lied to the same panel two days earlier and closed out the two-hour-plus meeting with an emotional apology.Noble is under investigation for failing to disclose his...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 23, 2005

No vote tonight

The House Resources Committee won’t vote tonight on the Nez Perce water rights agreement after all. As Chairman Bert Stevenson opened this afternoon’s hearing on the huge agreement, he said the vote is being put off to Friday, to allow more time tonight for public...

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Tax goodies for business

Four new bills were introduced in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee this morning to give tax breaks to business. The first, from Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, answers complaints that his big corporate incentive package would help only the biggest businesses, which likely would be in...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 22, 2005

Doings on the depot

There’s lots of interest among North Idaho lawmakers in a meeting coming up at 1 p.m. between representatives of BNSF Railway Co. and the state Department of Environmental Quality. DEQ officials said it’s a “compliance conference,” requested Friday by the company in response to DEQ...

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Eye On Boise

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