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Posts tagged: Idaho Senate

Dennis: McGee Hurt GOP Legislators

John McGee would have done himself a lot of good had he simply resigned from Senate leadership.  I think somehow this situation has become worse, not better, because of the GOP Caucus meeting last week.   Now, every GOP Senator (perhaps every legislator) has somehow become wrapped in John’s cocoon — and the Senate Democrat Leadership sees this opportunity.  As the press rolled out, following the “Caucus confidence vote”, I believe that it became apparent to a number of GOP senators that they were now perceived to be supporting John, and even comfortable with his behavior — even though they are not/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: Has John McGee become the Idaho Senate equivalent to Rep. Phil Hart — a pariah that hamstrings GOP legislative leadership?

Richert: McGee Survives One Election

It had to have been difficult for Sen. John McGee to meet with his colleagues Wednesday. But it could have been even worse. The Senate Republican caucus met to hear McGee, R-Caldwell, speak to them about what he calls “the worst night of my life:” the night of drinking that landed him in the Ada County Jail last Father’s Day, and resulted in a guilty plea on a DUI charge. Then, Republicans had to decide whether they wanted McGee to remain in leadership, and allow the politically ambitious McGee to serve as the public face of the GOP caucus. I can’t imagine this was easy on McGee — just as, I’m sure, it was difficult for him to break his seven-month silence and talk to reporters about his arrest. There are still holes in the story, particularly the still unsubstantiated claim that McGee suffered a concussion that contributed to his erratic Father’s Day behavior/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Can anyone suggest what a Republican legislator would have to do to be reprimanded by their colleagues and the lenient GOP leadership?

Vick Scores 100% Conservative Rate

Steve Vick, the ultraconservative freshman state senator from District 3 was one of four Idaho senators statewide who scored a perfect 100% on Adam Graham's annual conservative scorecard. Vick voted as Adam deemed appropriate on 16 different issues during the Idaho Legislature. John Goedde of Coeur d'Alene and Jim Hammond of Post Falls agreed agreed with Adam 14 of 16 times to score 88% in the annual ratings for North Idaho senators. Bringing up the rear were Shawn Keough of Sandpoint, 63%, and Joyce Broadsword of Sagle, 40%. You can see all the rankings here.

Question: Are you surprised by any of the conservative rankings of the 5 North Idaho senators?

GOP Senate OKs Paying GOP Fees

The Senate has voted 25-10 to pay $100,000 to the Idaho Republican Party for its attorney fees in its successful lawsuit against Idaho's primary election law, a settlement that was reached between the state and the party, revising the amount down from close to $144,000. But several senators noted that the court hasn't ordered payment. “I have to point out, we're paying $100,000 for the Republican Party to sue the Republican Legislature, defended by the Republican secretary of state, in order to close primaries in Idaho - I just think this is so bad it's comical,” said Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Senate Okays higher ed cuts

BOISE - The Idaho Senate has voted along party lines to approve a budget for the state’s colleges and universities for next year that includes further state funding cuts, pushing the schools to rely more on student tuition and fees.

The budget bill, SB 1181, drew fiery debate after minority Democrats spoke out against it.

Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise, said, since 2009, colleges and universities have been cut by $75 million in state funds, a 26.4 percent reduction. “It is the budget that has taken the biggest hit of any budget that we pass,” he said, “and this is our economic development engine that we are starving for resources.” More here. Betsy Russell, SR

Thoughts?

Senate Hears ‘Nullification’ Arguments

The Senate State Affairs Committee has a substantial crowd in the Capitol Auditorium this morning for its hearing on HB 117, the health care nullification bill. Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, the bill's lead sponsor, asked the panel, “Are the state agencies responsible to the federal government or to the state of Idaho? This is not a nullification bill,” he said. “It merely directs state agencies to cease work,” on anything related to the new national health care reform law. “We ask them to stop implementing this onerous bill,” Barbieri said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Rep. Vito Barbieri claims that his legislation is not a 'nullification bill.' Do you have a better term for it?

Senate OKs 1st Of Luna’s Bills 20-15

Update: SB 1108 has passed the Senate on a rather close 20-15 vote, with bipartisan opposition. The Senate has now moved immediately to take up SB 1110, the teacher performance pay bill.

“I've received more email on this bill than any other bill in my years in the Legislature,” Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise, told the Senate. “We need more time to look at this. … We need more time. What is the rush?”
Sen. Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, who repeatedly objected to debate that was offered by Democratic senators on the motion that Davis said was actually debate on the bill, said Bock's argument - great public interest - is a reason to vote on the bill now. “I urge you to vote against the motion,” he said. … The motion to delay debate of SB 1108 indefinitely then was defeated on a straight party-line vote/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you as surprised as I am that Hammond, a former school principal and erstwhile moderate, is embracing Tom Luna's radical plan?

Randy: Pro Tem Hill Non-Ideological

The new leader of the Idaho Senate, Republican Brent Hill of Rexburg, has developed a generally broad respect among Idaho legislature-watchers. He seems, based on his statements and initiatives, to be relatively non-ideological and willing to work with unexpected allies. That’s a broader picture than you might have expected from this year’s round of leadership races, with the Senate top job open for choice/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here. (And: Idaho’s Senate leaders won’t rubber-stamp House conservatives/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman)

Question: Which house of the Idaho Legislature will you look toward for leadership in 2011 — House or Senate?

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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.

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