The Idaho House holds its Lincoln Day commemoration on Monday, a program that included music and a performance by costumed elementary school students.
In this Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 photo, parked between the Clearwater River and U.S. Highway 12 at Kooskia, Idaho, the first megaload of a ConocoPhillips half-drum awaits its third leg of its journey across Idaho to a refinery at Billings, Mont. Snowfall expected at higher elevations ahead has stopped the long caravan of vehicles.
State Supt. of Schools Tom Luna pitches three new bills on his school reform plan on Monday to the Senate Education Committee
Members of the Senate Education Committee listen to details of the Luna school reform plan on Monday.
Jason Hancock, aide to state schools Supt. Tom Luna, goes through details of Luna's school reform plan with senators on the Education Committee on Monday afternoon. Hancock said Idaho's schools managed to function with larger class sizes in the mid-90s, like those the plan is now proposing.
Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, presides over the Senate Education Committee on Monday as it introduces new versions of state schools Supt. Tom Luna's school reform bills. Goedde called the changes "positive."
Members of the Senate Education Committee hear about the changes in state Supt. Tom Luna's school reform bills on Monday.
J.D. Day, a union pipe-fitter from Boise, testifies to the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday at a hearing on two anti-union bills, SB 1006 and 1007, both of which already passed the Senate; Day said the bills would hurt Idaho wages and the committee was "being sold a bill of goods."
Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, debates in favor of ethics rules changes Tuesday in the House that were prompted in part by three complaints against him in the past year; the rule changes won the unanimous, 70-0 support of the House. They include a provision covering ethics violations for "conduct unbecoming a member" of the House, something ethics committee members said they wished they'd had for the past year.
Gov. Butch Otter, left, and state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, right, call for "civil discourse" on school reform Tuesday, after Luna's vehicle was vandalized the previous evening and Luna was heckled at a coffee shop and confronted by an angry teacher outside his mother's house.
Luna aide Jason Hancock goes through details of school reform bills with the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday afternoon.
House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, speaks at a press conference Wednesday at which House and Senate Democrats called for starting over on state schools Supt. Tom Luna's proposed school reform plan.
Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, opens debate in the House Wednesday in favor of HB 117, the health care nullification bill, of which he's the lead sponsor.
Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, debates in favor of the health care nullification bill, HB 117, in the House on Wednesday. She chairs the House Health & Welfare Committee.
Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, debates Thursday against the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's policing legislation in the House. Harwood said he debated "with a heavy heart," and thought the issue should be settled locally. The bill was killed by one vote.
Lawmakers, seniors and AARP officials call on a House committee chairman to allow hearings on three stalled bills to fix Idaho's new "conscience law," to make sure health care providers can't violate dying patients' living wills because of their own personal conscience concerns.
State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna gives his closing comments to the Senate Education Committee on Thursday on his controversial school reform plan.
Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise, questions state schools Supt. Tom Luna on Thursday, asking if more time isn't needed to work out the final details of his school reform plan. Luna said no.
Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise, speaks in favor of a pay-for-performance bill in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday.
Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, praises the hundreds and hundreds of people who participated in hearings on school reform over the past two weeks; his comments came late Thursday, after the committee he chairs approved all three bills in the Luna school reform plan, sending them on to the full Senate - though one just squeaked through on a 5-4 vote.
Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, right, talks with a concerned Robin Nettinga of the Idaho Education Association, left, after his committee voted Thursday to pass all three bills in a controversial school-reform plan that the association opposed. Goedde is the lead legislative sponsor of the bills.
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee debates supplemental appropriations on Friday morning; the joint committee is scheduled to start setting state agency budgets next week.
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday debates a budget target that would force $56.73 million more in budget cuts next year than Gov. Butch Otter recommended; the move passed on a party-line vote, with the joint committee's four Democrats objecting.
Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, right, and Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, left, participate in deliberations on Friday on a budget target for next year; both opposed the decision, which will force much deeper budget cuts than already proposed by the governor.