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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: Bart Davis

Davis: Justice reinvestment project could save state a ‘bucket-load of money’

There’s a full house of more than 100 people for today’s first “Politics for Lunch” session sponsored by the Andrus Center at its downtown Boise location; Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis is the featured speaker. His first comment: “Wow. This is a remarkable group of people.” Pulling out his cellphone, he asked, “Do you mind?” and took pictures of the crowd. “My mother will never believe this,” he said. Davis said he’d offer “my prognostications, as modest as they may be,” about the upcoming legislative session. “If you like what I said, I meant it,” he said, “and if you don’t, I was just pulling your leg.”

He said the governor’s announcement of no Medicaid expansion this year likely matches what the result would have been had the expansion gone to either house for a vote. He said he’s “grateful” that the Legislature reconvened its joint Change in Employee Compensation committee this year for the first time since 2008, and said the question now is whether its recommendation of a 2 percent pay boost will be extended to public schools as well as state employees. “It has historically been that it was extended, and frankly I anticipate that that is what the joint committee is likely to do,” Davis said.

He called the criminal justice reinvestment project “one of the additional significant things that we will do this year in the legislative session,” and said, “Those states that have followed some of their more significant recommendations have saved a bucket-load of money. We are hopeful that we will be able to see some of the same positive results.” Tomorrow, an interim committee is scheduled to finalize its report and legislative recommendations; a session for all legislators on the proposals is set for Thursday.

Davis said he expects the Legislature to push hard to enact the recommendations of the education stakeholders task force over the next five years. As far as whether tax cuts will be enacted this year, he said, “I really don’t know the answer to that.”

Lawmaker’s family goes from grief to forgiveness

State Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis and his wife, Marion, know grief, having buried their 23-year-old son a decade ago, reports AP reporter John Miller; they've come to know forgiveness, too. Davis and his family have decided not to oppose parole for their son's killer, a fellow BSU student who shot Davis' son to death at a party in 2003 after an argument. Now, 32-year-old Vincent Craig Olsen could leave the South Idaho Correctional Institution by next week. Click below for Miller's full report.

McGee affair bleeds into Senate leadership fight

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Former Republican Sen. John McGee's Senate exit is bleeding into a fight over leadership of the chamber's dominant GOP faction for 2013. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis is being challenged by Sen. Dean Mortimer for the No. 2 position in Wednesday's secret vote. The two Idaho Falls lawmakers would seem natural allies. However, the Idaho Statesman reports dissatisfaction in the caucus over Davis' handling of the McGee affair. Davis remained a McGee ally, despite the Caldwell lawmaker's 2011 drunken-driving conviction. Meanwhile, Mortimer was among nine senators who said publicly they tried to oust McGee as majority caucus chair in a closed-door vote in January ― just weeks before sexual-harassment allegations ended McGee's career.

Davis declined comment to The Associated Press on Saturday; Mortimer couldn't be reached. There are two other leadership races in the Senate. Curt McKenzie of Nampa is challenging Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder of Boise, and Steve Bair of Blackfoot takes on Majority Caucus Leader Russ Fulcher of Meridian, who was elected to the leadership post when McGee quit in February.

Winder drops leadership challenge to Davis, Mortimer says he’ll run…

Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reports today that Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Boise, has decided against a challenge to Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, after his estimated vote count came in at a tied 14-14. “For me to run with that close of a vote would have been divisive,” Winder told Popkey. Now, Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, has decided to make a last-minute challenge to Davis. Lawmakers in both houses will hold leadership elections in closed-door caucuses the evening of Dec. 5, prior to the Legislature's upcoming Dec. 6 organizational session. You can read Popkey's full report here.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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