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Eye On Boise archive for March 2004


It's all over now

The Idaho House adjourned its 2004 session at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 20th, and the Senate followed suit at 6:52 p.m. Gov. Dirk Kempthorne hailed lawmakers for their 69-day session, saying, "I think we have seen tremendous progress made." But with 200 to 300…

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Not much of a compliment

Sen. Bert Marley, D-McCammon, gave a grudging compliment to those who hashed out the much-amended charter school reform bill as the session closed, though he opposed the bill."We could've done better," he said. "I guess I have to applaud the efforts that have been made…

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One way to reduce controversy

Among the many fits and starts that the much-lobbied, much-amended charter school reform legislation went through was an odd one on Saturday morning. The Senate was getting ready to consider whether or not to concur with two rounds of House amendments to SB 1444. But…

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They showed 'em

As the state Senate worked into the night Thursday, Sens. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, and Gerry Sweet, R-Meridian, saw just the opportunity they'd been waiting for. Two moderate senators were missing, having been formally excused for conflicting commitments as the night wore on. So Pearce…

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Just quit breathing?

Then there was Rep. Bill Sali, R-Meridian, the House's Health and Welfare Committee chairman. He told the House, "If we're concerned about the air, then we all need to quit breathing, because we're all exhaling carbon dioxide, which is one of the constituents of cigarette…

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And then there was this study...

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, was right in the middle of his debate against the smoking bill when suddenly Rep. Kathy Skippen's computer began blaring out the theme to Indiana Jones, right into the House P.A. system.Skippen couldn't get it to stop, though Harwood was…

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It's up, it's down, it's up

First, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne proposed a $1,000 tax credit for new jobs that pay more than $15.50 an hour and provide health insurance benefits. Then, the House thought that was too high, so they amended it down to $12.50 an hour.When the bill got to…

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MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2004

Blame it on North Idaho?

With lawmakers scrambling to wrap up their session by the end of this week, it was something of a surprise on Friday when the Senate, which has more than 100 bills left on its calendar, decided to quit shortly after lunchtime and head home for…

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Sandpoint girl cheers senators' vote

Hannah Vogel, 13, was visiting the state Capitol with a group of 35 eighth graders from Sandpoint Charter School when she sat in on a Senate committee hearing where, after tough questioning from senators, a pro-field burning bill was unexpectedly killed by one vote. Hannah…

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Big hearing coming up

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee will reconvene on Thursday morning, and its agenda is packed. On the schedule: Reconsidering cuts in the DEQ's air quality program, reconsidering caps on the Children's Health Insurance Program and possibly other items in the Medicaid budget, and increasing the budget…

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Blame it on Oregon?

Rep. Bob Schaefer, R-Nampa, contends that back when he worked on North Idaho field-burning issues, he discovered that there was nothing to residents' complaints about smoke from field-burning."We found out from that when people complained about the smoke in the Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint area,…

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Clark Fork jackpot

Rep. John Campell, R-Sandpoint, told the House that the sale of the University of Idaho's Clark Fork Field Campus was "a travesty of justice.""Whoever bought that hit the Idaho jackpot," Campbell said. "I think we ought to change this law to make sure this never…

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Lawmaker for a day, or three or five

Wonder why former Rep. Freeman Duncan was filling in for Sen. Dick Compton this week? Or how Kootenai County GOP Chairman Bob Nonini took Rep. Hilde Kellogg's seat for a week?Idaho's substitute-legislator system may be unique in the country. Brenda Erickson, a senior researcher with…

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It's the Kindergarten Manifesto

St. Maries Rep. Dick Harwood told the House on Wednesday that a bill to require kids to attend kindergarten was akin to communism.Lawmakers would be familiar with the idea "if you've ever read the Communist Manifesto," Harwood said. "This is another step toward government control…

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On the menu: Grilled governor

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne expects a "short, productive legislative session," he told the Idaho Press Club today. With reporters jammed into a local Mexican restaurant for the governor's annual luncheon talk, Kempthorne defended his campaign finances, declined to threaten any vetos in the interest of working…

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3rd term for Kempthorne?

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne opened the door today to the possibility of running for a third term - something he's been saying for years he wouldn't do."Ask me next year," Kempthorne told reporters after a news conference in his office. "Today, I don't have plans to…

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