Political and legislative news out of Idaho.
Latest from The Spokesman-Review
THURSDAY, SEPT. 22, 2016, 12:36 P.M.
Donald Trump Jr. defends Skittles post in Boise campaign stop
Donald Trump Jr. flew into Boise today for a fundraiser for his father’s presidential campaign, and also defended his controversial Twitter post comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles, blaming the …
TUESDAY, SEPT. 20, 2016, 10:54 A.M.
Idaho officials vote to auction off state-owned commercial properties
Idaho’s top elected officials voted Tuesday to auction off nine state-owned commercial properties, five of them in downtown Boise near the Capitol – even as another state official warned the …
SUNDAY, SEPT. 18, 2016
Eye on Boise: Crapo’s opponent says D.C. has changed him for the worse
Idaho GOP Sen. Mike Crapo’s Democratic challenger, Jerry Sturgill, is criticizing Crapo over his 2013 DUI conviction, saying it shows that Washington has changed him.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 15, 2016, 3:34 P.M.
Ad Watch: Crapo’s federal-debt ad is first of campaign season in Idaho
“This is Idaho,” proclaims Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo’s new political campaign commercial, as it touts his advocacy for balancing the federal budget and reining in the national debt. The ad …
SATURDAY, SEPT. 10, 2016, 3:25 P.M.
Eye on Boise: If trends hold, Idaho could have sizable budget surplus
State tax revenues are coming in ahead of forecasts, and if current trends hold, Idaho could have a substantial budget surplus by the end of the current fiscal year.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 8, 2016, 3:57 P.M.
Idaho launches new state suicide prevention program
Idaho’s suicide rate has long been far above the national average; the state had the 9th highest suicide rate in the country in 2014. But now, it has something it …
SUNDAY, SEPT. 4, 2016
Eye on Boise: Crapo, Sturgill are filling their campaign coffers in Senate race
You may not have heard of Jerry Sturgill – few have – but campaign finance reports suggest he’s quite serious about his challenge to longtime Idaho GOP Sen. Mike Crapo.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 2, 2016, 2:44 P.M.
Sen. Mike Crapo wraps up two-year, 200-city town hall swing through Idaho
From Aberdeen to Worley, from Bonners Ferry to Blackfoot, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo has arrived in every incorporated Idaho city over the past two years – all 200 of them …
THURSDAY, SEPT. 1, 2016, 3:36 P.M.
Idaho countersues in broadband case
Even as two vendors from the now-defunct Idaho Education Network are suing the state of Idaho in federal court seeking payment of unpaid bills from the IEN, the state has …
MONDAY, AUG. 29, 2016, 5:21 P.M.
Some Idaho lawmakers remain unconvinced about Medicaid expansion
Even after months of hearings, overwhelmingly positive public comments and stacks of statistics showing Idaho would save millions, some state lawmakers remain reluctant to accept federal Medicaid expansion funds to …
SUNDAY, AUG. 28, 2016
Raul rising: Labrador embraces role as Idaho’s agitator in Congress
A fractious tea party favorite and co-founder of the insurgent House Freedom Caucus, Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador doesn’t care much for the traditions or norms of Congress. Now seeking a …
SUNDAY, AUG. 28, 2016
Eye on Boise: Idaho presidential ballot to offer eight choices
BOISE – Idaho’s presidential ballot for November has ballooned to eight candidates, as three independents turned in enough signatures just in time to qualify for the ballot. The three who …
SUNDAY, AUG. 21, 2016, 4 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Butch and Lori Otter to be honorary Trump chairs for Idaho
Gov. Otter and first lady will chair Trump campaign in Idaho
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 17, 2016, 4:21 P.M.
Police group withdraws endorsement in Idaho court race over candidate’s excessive-force lawsuits
A law enforcement group has withdrawn its endorsement of state Sen. Curt McKenzie’s bid for the Idaho Supreme Court after he twice represented criminal suspects who unsuccessfully sued police officers …
SUNDAY, AUG. 7, 2016, 4 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Summit eyes elevating civility in Idaho’s public discourse
The “Idaho Civility Summit” wrapped up on a positive note last week, with participants including elected officials, civic leaders and members of the press backing several moves to enhance civil …
THURSDAY, AUG. 4, 2016, 2:37 P.M.
Lawmakers scrutinize Idaho’s religious exemption that protects rights of religious sect amid high child death rates
Idaho’s religious exemption from charges of child abuse, neglect, child injury and manslaughter, passed in the 1970s to accommodate faith-healing groups, came under close scrutiny at a legislative hearing Thursday.
SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2016, 4 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Idaho Rep. Labrador is sixth-poorest in Congress, site says
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador is the sixth-poorest member of Congress, according to a comparison by
SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2016, 4 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Numbers show Idaho is a big spender? Experts say no
Claims by the Idaho Freedom Foundation that Idaho has become an extravagant spender, outstripping other states, are clearly off the mark, to the point that the former chief economist for …
SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2016, 4 A.M.
Eye on Boise: Idaho’s sales taxes rank low in national comparison
The Tax Foundation has released a new comparison of state and local sales taxes by state, and Idaho’s ranks at the lower end, 37th highest.
FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2016, 10:28 A.M.
Idaho campaign finance initiative falls short, won’t make ballot
A sweeping campaign finance reform initiative that promised to change the role of money in politics in Idaho has fallen short of the number of verified signatures needed, and won’t …
FRIDAY, JAN. 6, 2017, 4:52 P.M.
The week that was, and the week ahead…
Tonight’s “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television includes an update on the events of the week, and thoughts from citizens, local government leaders, education and local government lobbyists and more …
FRIDAY, JAN. 6, 2017, 9:58 A.M.
Legislative leaders say teacher evaluation system must be fixed, and quickly
Legislative leaders from both parties were sharply critical this morning of the state Department of Education for “sitting on” problematic teacher-evaluation audit data for six months, before it finally came …
FRIDAY, JAN. 6, 2017, 9:45 A.M.
Legislative leaders talk education, surplus, roads and tax cuts…
Top legislative leaders are addressing reporters this morning at the AP Legislative Preview. Among their comments thus far: House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, said his caucus hopes to “continue …
FRIDAY, JAN. 6, 2017, 8:47 A.M.
Otter on education, roads, health care, more…
Gov. Butch Otter said today, “I think the legislative session should be short. … My focus again is going to be on education.” He said, “We’re starting to realize the …
FRIDAY, JAN. 6, 2017, 8:28 A.M.
Otter: Time for a higher ed task force, to make sweeping improvements like his K-12 panel
At today’s AP Legislative Preview, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has announced he’s forming a higher education task force similar to his K-12 education improvement task force that launched the state’s …
FRIDAY, JAN. 6, 2017, 6:49 A.M.
State Treasurer Crane won’t seek re-election
Idaho state Treasurer Ron Crane announced this week that he won’t see re-election in 2018 to a sixth term, and will retire instead. “Twenty years is a long time and …
THURSDAY, JAN. 5, 2017, 4:42 P.M.
Crapo named chairman of the Senate Banking Committee
Idaho GOP Sen. Mike Crapo was named chairman of the Senate Banking Committee today, succeeding Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama. The Senate tonight passed a resolution ratifying an earlier vote of …
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 4, 2017, 12:48 P.M.
Both Simpson, Labrador opposed secret vote to gut House ethics office
Both of Idaho’s U.S. House members – GOP Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador – opposed the secret vote to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, reports Rob Hotakainen of …
TUESDAY, JAN. 3, 2017, 5:30 A.M.
Catching up on the news…
The holidays aren’t typically a big news period, but lo and behold, there was legislative news while I was off, and it wasn’t about taxes, health care, education funding or …
SUNDAY, DEC. 18, 2016, 8 A.M.
Idaho Supreme Court ruling raises fears about access to justice, has lawmakers concerned
Idaho’s Supreme Court, in a divided 3-2 ruling, has launched the state’s court system on a new track in which most Idahoans who lose in court would have to pay …
THURSDAY, DEC. 15, 2016, 4:56 P.M.
Otter: ‘We’re at Door No. 2 now’
Gov. Butch Otter, at a ribbon-cutting in Twin Falls today, confirmed that he’s being vetted as a possible nominee for Secretary of Agriculture, and told Times-News reporter Nathan Brown that …
THURSDAY, DEC. 15, 2016, 4:32 P.M.
Two of Idaho’s four GOP presidential electors to be replaced before Monday’s vote
Two of Idaho’s four Republican presidential electors will be replaced prior to Monday’s vote of the Electoral College because they are constitutionally barred as federal employees from serving as electors, …
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14, 2016, 3:56 P.M.
Otter being considered for Secretary of Agriculture? Maybe?
Given the on-and-off announcements about various prospective Trump appointees in recent days, it’s with some hesitance that I pass along this maybe-news: Idaho Gov. Butch Otter now is supposedly among …
TUESDAY, DEC. 13, 2016, 3:15 P.M.
Hold the dominoes – Trump tapping Zinke for Interior?
The Washington Post is now reporting that President-elect Donald Trump has decided on first-term Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke as his Secretary of the Interior – not Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador …
TUESDAY, DEC. 13, 2016, 11:51 A.M.
Labrador reportedly being considered for Secretary of the Interior
Politico is reporting today that Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador is being considered for secretary of the interior in a new Trump Administration. Citing “multiple sources,” the news site says Washington …
MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2016, 4:13 P.M.
Of Labrador, Trump, and political dominoes…
Here’s a link to my full, updated story at spokesman.com on the news today that Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador met with Donald Trump and may be up for a post …
MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2016, 3:25 P.M.
If Labrador gets Trump Admin post, Idaho would hold its first-ever special election for U.S. House - with no primary
If Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador were to accept a position in the Trump Administration, it would trigger something that’s never happened before in Idaho history: A special election for a …
MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2016, 2:14 P.M.
Labrador statement: ‘His administration will be a friend to the people of Idaho’
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador issued this statement this afternoon on his meeting today at Trump Tower with President-elect Donald Trump: “President-elect Trump and I had an excellent conversation this afternoon …
MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2016, 1:38 P.M.
Labrador meets with Trump, hints afterward that he might be up for a job in Trump’s administration
Idaho 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York today, and hinted afterward to reporters there that they’d discussed a role …
FRIDAY, DEC. 9, 2016, 4:32 P.M.
The week that was…
Tonight’s “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television includes an update on the events of the week, and a report from co-host Aaron Kunz on the environmental impact process for 14 …