Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Posts tagged: idaho legislature

Poll: Congress, Legislature Terrible

  • Weekend Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation sez both Congress and the Idaho Legislature are terrible examples of governing bodies. 103 of 232 respondents (44.4%) said that Congress and the Idaho Legislature are equally bad in the performance of their duties. 72 of 232 respondents (31.03%) picked Congress as worst than the Idaho Legislature. 56 of 232 (24.14%) said the Legislature was worse than Congress.
  • Today's Poll: Do you think President Obama's health care overhaul is constitutional?

Idaho’s Ultrasound Mandate Has Limits

As did Virginia's Legislature last month, Idaho's Legislature is wading into controversial territory with a new law that, if enacted, would require that abortion providers administer an ultrasound test and share the results with women seeking abortions before the baby is destroyed. The unproven theory behind such laws is that once a woman sees her baby or hears its heartbeat, her maternal instincts will be activated and she'll change her mind, sparing the child's life. Naturally, the left is portraying this as the highest order of extremism. If there is any evidence that such information ever changes a woman's mind, I have not seen it. Pro-life activists believe it would, but they are already predisposed to loving their children, born or unborn/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Anything left to be said on this controversial issue?

Hi-Noon: Bill Targets Daylight-Saving

Forget springing forward. Earlier this week, the Legislature printed a bill to exempt Idaho from observing daylight saving time. Will it pass? Not a chance. But bill sponsor Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, hopes the legislation will help propel a national discussion on getting rid of the time change. The idea is gaining popularity, especially in the weeks following the spring time change. Jaquet receives correspondence from constituents and voters across the state asking her to bring the time shift’s demise. Jaquet has seven Republican cosponsors for the bill, including House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star. While the idea might be attractive to sleep-deprived Idahoans still struggling with losing an hour of sleep last week, what are the realistic implications of opting out?/Melissa Davlin, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.  (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Would you like to see daylight-saving time go away?

Is Congress Worse Than Legislature?

You might think it would be difficult to find a new way to insult Congress. Back in 1873, Mark Twain said, “I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind, Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman.” And in the 1930s, humorist Will Rogers said, “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.” But it seems that Moscow's congressman, first-term Republican Raul Labrador (pictured), has found a way.Early last week, he said Congress is worse than the Idaho Legislature. Quite a putdown, that. The Spokesman's Betsy Z. Russell wrote that Labrador told the Idaho House and Senate since he's been in Washington, D.C., “My appreciation for the Idaho Legislature has only grown more”/Lee Rozen, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Which group of politicians do you consider worse: U.S. Congress? Idaho Legislature?

Dems Claim Senate Ethics Violation

Idaho's Senate minority leadership has filed an ethics complaint against Senate Resources Chairman Monty Pearce (pictured), R-New Plymouth, alleging that he voted 22 times on oil and gas issues before finally disclosing, before the Senate's final vote on HB 464, that he had a conflict of interest in that he had oil and gas leases on his land in Payette County. Senate ethics rules permit senators to vote despite a conflict, after having disclosed it. Pearce told Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker today that he had simply not thought about the potential conflict until the final vote, and had held the leases since the 1980s. “I vote on an animal cruelty bill and I have animals,” he told Barker. “I vote on water rights and I’ve got water rights”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What chance does an ethics complain from Democrats have to get traction in the Idaho Legislature — slim or none?

Idaho Declares Telegraph Obsolete

After a unanimous House vote, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter's pen stroke is all that stands between finally declaring the telegraph obsolete in Idaho. Tuesday's 63-0 vote is part of the Idaho Supreme Court's annual effort to excise archaic language from state code. Back when trains dominated cross-country passenger travel, Idaho required stations to communicate late arrivals from waiting room to waiting room via telegraph. Failure merited a $100 misdemeanor fine. But even in Idaho, hardly anybody uses the telegraph these days/AP. More here. (Wikipedia: telegraph key)

Question: Can you think of other devices that the Idaho Legislature can declare obsolete?

Labrador ♥ Legislature ‘Bipartisanship’

U.S. Congressman Raul Labrador told the Senate today that since he's been in Washington, D.C., “My appreciation for the Idaho Legislature has only grown more.” Addressing those lawmakers who are retiring this year, he said, “If you are anything like me, you will miss this place greatly. … I love working here because there is a true sense of duty that transcends party affiliation in the Idaho Legislature. This is not the case in Congress. … I have seen a sense of duty and service take a back seat to the goal of only scoring political points.” Labrador said, “I enjoyed working with Democrats and Republicans in the Idaho Legislature. … You don't want Washington-style politics creeping into Idaho”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think the Democrats in the Idaho Legislature view the spirit of cooperation in the Capitol the same way as Labrador does?

Edit: Cig Tax Hike Doomed From Start

On Monday, public health groups had their shot at convincing lawmakers to raise the cigarette tax. And they were doomed from the start. The House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted 11-5 to kill the proposal before it was even formally printed. This committee — which, by legislative custom, gets the first look at any tax increases — once again lived up to its well-earned tax-hawk reputation. So much for this idea. For 2012, and probably for the forseeable future. Like the “Add the Words” legislation, which sought to expand Idaho anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identity, the cigarette tax increase had some grassroots support behind it. Earlier in the session, supporters delivered more than 8,000 postcards to lawmakers, from Idahoans urging a cigarette tax increase/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you support the decision by the House Revenue & Taxation Committee not to increase state taxes on cigarettes?

Read more here:

Idaho Legislature Gender Gap Grows

Poring over the list of candidates for the Idaho Legislature, Boise State political scientist Gary Moncrief finds a gender gap far more pronounced than the roughly 7 percent historical difference between women and men in presidential contests. “..(W)omen are three times more likely to run as a Democrat than as a Republican in Idaho,” writes Moncrief in a weekend email. “In Idaho, it isn’t a gender gap; it’s a gender chasm.” Friday was the final day to file for 105 seats in the Idaho Legislature, and Moncrief notes that 38 percent of Democratic candidates are women, compared to 13 percent of the Republican candidates. The proportion of women in the Legislature has fallen from 31 percent in 1992, when Idaho ranked No. 7 in the nation, to 27 percent in the current Legislature. With retirements and the new candidate roster, that figure appears likely to decline in the 2013 Legislature/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Idaho Legislature photo: Sen. Nicole LeFavour, who is retiring from state Senate to run for Congress)

Question: Is this cause for concern?

Sims Urban Renewal Bill Flounders

Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, has had a rough go of it with one of her bills this year. With the session winding down and about two weeks to go before the final gavel drops for the year, Sims, for the second time in the last few weeks, pitched her bill to force urban renewal districts to hold elections for their oversight boards. And, for the second time this session, the bill was held in committee. As it stands now, commissioners are either chosen by a city council, a mayor or county commissioners, depending on how the urban renewal agency is set up. Sims believes that because the agencies handle millions of public dollars, they should be accountable to local residents. That, she says, would be achieved through direct election of oversight commissioners/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Does Rep. Kathy Sims' extreme anti-urban renewal bills reflect yours?

Give Me Secretariat In 1973 Derby

A long-time Berry Picker writes: “I thought you and your readers might enjoy Senate Bill 1374 currently being considered in Boise by our (!) legislature.  That bill defines and allows for “Historical Horse Racing”.  What is that you ask?  It is showing and betting on a horse race that has already happened!  Allow me to repeat that, “betting on a horse race that has already happened.”  I can't wait until they start allowing “Historical Baseball games” where we can bet on last year's world series.  I have absolutely no idea how “historical horse racing” actually works and don't really care all that much.   Still, it sounds pretty odd.  I wonder what those _________ (fill in the blank) in Boise will come up with next?” (AP file photo: Secretariat winning 1973 Kentucky Derby)

Question: Would you bet on a “historical horse” race?

NYT: Openly Gay Idaho Solon Quitting

Here, the lawmaker who has spent eight years working for what might seem far less controversial goals is the only openly gay member of the Idaho Legislature. Now with the session well under way and a gay rights bill again showing little sign of getting a hearing, the senator who has been its champion, Nicole LeFavour, plans to become the former only openly gay lawmaker in the Idaho Legislature. Ms. LeFavour, 48, has decided not to seek re-election, for what she says is a very painful reason: she has had enough and she expects things to only get harder. “My partner Carol has put up with a lot of stress and has stood by me as I dealt with a lot of loss,” Ms. LeFavour wrote in a blog post last month. “She’s so smart and keeps me laughing through the hardest times but you can only ask that of someone for so long”/William Yardley, New York Times. More here. (Betsy Russell 2009 SR file photo: Nicole LeFavour asks a Senate committee to introduce her bill to expand state human rights protection to gays but is rejected)

Question: What will be state Sen. Nicole LeFavour's legacy?

Hucks Poll: Hell No To Idaho Tax Cut

  • Monday Poll: 82% of Hucks Nation oppose the $35.7 million tax cut for prosperous Idahoans that easily passed the Idaho House, including 50% who said “hell no.” 83 of 167 respondents (49.7%) said “hell no” to the tax cut while 54 of 167 respondents (32.34%) simply said no. Only 30 of 167 (17.96%) supported the tax cut.
  • Today's Poll: Who will win the Idaho presidential caucus election today?

Solons Laud IEA Despite Loud ‘Nays’

HCR 48, congratulating the Idaho Education Association on the 120th anniversary of its founding, has passed the House on a voice vote - but with lots of loud “nay” votes. No one debated against the resolution, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, and Sen. Edgar Malepeai, D-Pocatello; it moves now to the Senate. Ringo told the House the association was created on March 3, 1892, when the state superintendent of public instruction issued a call “to teacher of the state to convene and organize a permanent association.” The measure resolves “that members of the Idaho Education Association be congratulated on their organization's 120th anniversary and their service to the teaching profession and to the children of Idaho/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. And: Idaho Education Association resolution

Question: Are you surprised that the Idaho Legislature would pass this resolution?

North Idaho Candidates Start Filing

Several candidates have filed as Republicans for 2012 GOP legislative primary races in the northern counties, including state Rep. George Eskridge of Dover, House District 1B; Sen. Steve Vick of Dalton Garden & Fritz E. Wiedenhoff of Rathdrum, Senate District 2; Rep. Vito Barbieri of Hayden, House District 2A; Rep. Bob Nonini of Coeur d'Alene, Senate District 3; Jeff Tyler of Coeur d'Alene, House District 3A; Rep. Frank Henderson of Post Falls, House District 3B; Sen. John Goedde of Coeur d'Alene, Senate District 4; Barrett Schroeder of Moscow, Senate District 5; and Kenneth B. De Vries of St. Maries, House District 5B. Additionally, Jeremy Boggess filed as an Independent for Senate District 4. And Dan Schmidt of Moscow filed as a Democrat for Senate District 5. 

Occupy Boise: We Won, Bubblegum

Occupy Boise member Mary Reali called today's federal court ruling — which upholds the state's new ban on camping on state property, but blocks removal of the Occupy Boise tents on 1st Amendment grounds — “a victory for our freedom of speech, for what we are aiming for.” Said Reali, who hasn't been camping overnight at the site but visits often and participates in meetings there, “One of the important functions of the vigil was to have a place for people to come. We will continue to use the vigil site for meetings and gatherings”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support the continued presence of Occupy Boise in tents near state Capitol in Boise?

Brannon Manager Wants Nonini Seat

Home builder and Republican activist Jeff Tyler will file Monday for election to Idaho House of Representatives Seat A, a district containing Post Falls, Rathdrum and southeast Kootenai County. Tyler, in his first run for public office, will seek a two-year term to the seat currently held by Rep. Bob Nonini, who announced he is running for the Senate. Tyler, 52, is a long-time Republican and conservative activist as a founder and 1st Vice President of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans and a founder of the Panhandle Pachyderm Club.  In 2009 Tyler became well known as the campaign manager for Republican Jim Brannon in his campaign against Democrat Mike Kennedy for the Coeur d’Alene City Council. A resident of Kootenai County since 1994, Tyler lives with his wife of 25 years, Pam, on Harbor Island.  Jeff and Pam have 2 grown sons, Kenny and Keith/News Release. More here.


Legislature’s Only Gay Calling It Quits

Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, has decided not to run for another term, after serving two terms in the Senate and two in the House. “The job that I've had, I think, often is just speaking up for those who are about to lose, the side that's going to go down,” she said. “I think your heart can only take that for so long.” LeFavour, 48, a teacher and a writer, is the Legislature's only open gay member. She's been an outspoken advocate of legislation to expand the Idaho Human Rights Act to cover discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; that legislation has seen growing support, but lawmakers have never granted it a hearing/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What is Sen. LeFavour's impact on the Idaho Legislature?

Harwood To Quit After 6 Terms

Six-term Idaho Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, has decided to end his 12-year legislative career after this year. “I’m not going to run,” Harwood said Thursday. “My wife’s family’s not doing well. … She needs me to be there.” After 12 years in the Legislature, Harwood says he’s most proud of his work to push back against the federal government, including his failed bill this year to kick the EPA out of Idaho. “My whole goal has been to push back from the federal government,” Harwood said. “Just having someone here to try to push back and say, ‘Hey, we have sovereignty as a state,’ and try to keep the federal government from running over the top of us. That’s been my goal.” He said his only regret is that he wasn’t able to do more on that score/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Did Dick Harwood have an impact on the Idaho Legislature?

Wolf Kill Bill Could Backfire On Idaho

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, who authored the federal legislation that removed Idaho wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act, is worried that a wolf-kill bill approved by a Senate committee yesterday goes beyond the wolf management plan Idaho approved in 2002 - and could give a federal judge a reason to return Idaho wolves to the endangered list, the Idaho Statesman reports today.  The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, a sheep rancher, would let let livestock owners whose animals are molested by wolves shoot the wolves from motorized vehicles, powered parachutes, helicopters or fixed-wing planes, by night or day, using rifles, pistols, shotguns, or crossbows, night scopes, electronic calls, and traps with live bait/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Would the Idaho Legislature be wise to deep-six attempts to kill more wolves?

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

Find DFO on Facebook

DFO on Twitter

Betsy Russell on Twitter

HBO newsmakers Twitter list

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Huckleberries Online.

Take this week's news quiz ›
Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here