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Eye On Boise archive for April 2005


Republican announces Democrat's run?

Got a surprising news release a few minutes ago from Sheila Sorensen’s congressional campaign. Sorensen, a former longtime GOP state senator, is running for the District 1 congressional seat that Butch Otter will vacate in two years to run for governor. The heading on her…

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MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2005

North Idaho student wins national contest

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was helping 11-year-old Christy Reid of Hayden Lake unveil her award-winning Arbor Day poster this morning when a spindly, wooden easel collapsed, causing the governor, Christy, and Christy’s art teacher, Kim Washko, to make quick grabs for the framed poster. It survived,…

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Three on the line?

Idaho Commerce and Labor Director Roger Madsen said he’s already been in touch with three out-of-state companies interested in Idaho’s new corporate headquarters tax incentives, which Gov. Dirk Kempthorne signed into law Wednesday morning. “I have had personal contacts with three executives from major companies,…

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Not-so-Swift Mining

The Idaho Land Board voted unanimously this morning to affirm its staff’s decision to reject two mineral lease applications from Jonathan Swift Mining Co. to lease two stretches of the bed of the Coeur d’Alene River – in the Bunker Hill Superfund site – to…

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MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2005

'It can be done'

U.S. Rep. Butch Otter joined the Idaho Financial Literacy Coalition for a press conference on the state capitol steps today, kicking off a month of efforts urging Idahoans, young and old, to become more financially literate.Idaho Department of Finance Director Gavin Gee said the consequences…

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It's worth ten bucks

Chuck Oxley, Associated Press reporter, said one of the toughest moments of the legislative session for him came when he had to pay Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis $10, because he’d lost his bet. When the Senate amended its internal rules earlier this session to…

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House has adjourned, Senate goes on...

The House adjourned sine die at 3:50 p.m., but the Senate's still going. It's passed its last bill, but now is debating whether to add "legislative intent" promising to pay back cities and counties in the future for a lost windfall this year - from…

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All in good fun

Remember that mine-tailings bill that went down amid consternation over the prospect of dredging the Coeur d’Alene basin? Its sponsor, Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, still is lamenting the death of the bill in the Senate, after it had passed the House, as a low…

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They're into 'bondage'

During the heated debate on the GARVEE bill in the House, Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, said, “They don’t call ‘em bonds for nothing. Bonds is just short for bondage.”Other opponents picked up on that theme, and criticized the “bondage” Idaho’s moving into. “This scares the…

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Senate passes two water bills

The Senate has passed the first two water bills – HB 373, allowing bonding by the Idaho Department of Water Resources, and HB 374, expanding the role of water districts and providing for fees – on overwhelming votes, and taken a lunch break until 1.…

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We're rhymin' along

This one needs a bit of set-up, unfortunately, if you didn’t pay close attention to the House debate this week on the cigarette tax. It happened on Monday, just as tobacco-growing North Carolina was poised to play that night for the NCAA championship. Rep. Jim…

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Lawmakers laud 'Dynamite' movie

A resolution honoring the two Idahoans who made the hit film “Napoleon Dynamite,” which is set in Preston, Idaho and features lots of local not-quite-profane expressions, brought much merriment to the House this morning.Amid the jokes, a House member insisted on a roll-call vote on…

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Amendments go on quickly

The House has made quick work of slapping on the compromise amendments to the governor’s highway bonding bill. Now, all that remains is the final debate and passage of the bill in the House – which still could be interesting.With all due apologies, here’s a…

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Unanimous vote for road bill

The House Transportation Committee just voted unanimously to send the full House the governor’s highway bill, with compromise amendments attached. “I know the angst and I know the tension that was in the negotiations,” said Rep. Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, who had been one of the…

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They'll starve 'em out

There was laughter in the House when Majority Leader Lawerence Denney made this announcement: “Since tomorrow starts the first day of our new diet, there will not be any food in the House lounge.” The House then honored its chef and assistant with a standing…

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They're getting closer

Things are changing minute by minute, but at this point, though they’re getting closer, there doesn’t yet appear to be a deal between the governor and the House Transportation Committee on the governor’s highway legislation.“I think we’re at 7-7 as far as a committee,” said…

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Standoff continues

Although the governor’s chief of staff, Brian Whitlock, says “people are talking” and “we remain optimistic,” the 85th day of this year’s legislative session has ended without any deal to break the gridlock that’s keeping lawmakers here long beyond their expected adjournment. The governor has…

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Here's an odd one

The negotiating room was packed a few minutes ago for the start of the 2 p.m. negotiating session between the House and the governor on highway legislation, but nothing had started. The reason?Right outside the room, at a table in the capitol’s snack bar area,…

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The negotiations are on

There were 11 House members absent in that last vote, concurring on the cigarette tax amendments. House Majority Leader Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, just explained that: “Mr. Speaker, we are still waiting for members of the body that are down on the first floor negotiating the…

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Harsh words bring April flowers

I have to credit snoopy Dan Popkey for this one. The Idaho Statesman political columnist spotted Rep. Bob Schaefer, R-Nampa, leaving the House chamber with this lovely spring bouquet of flowers - the same day that Schaefer was quoted on the front page of the…

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Reports of death premature

Despite the earlier announcement in the Idaho Senate, Pope John Paul had not died at that point – there were just some news reports that jumped the gun. As of this afternoon, the Vatican reported that the 84-year-old pontiff was “near death.”

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Cigarette tax bill moves forward

The Senate has just concurred unanimously in the conference committee’s recommendations on the cigarette tax, with no debate. But in the House, a unanimous consent request drew objections, so that was followed by a motion and some debate. Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, who cast…

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Back behind closed doors

The majority of the Senate has retreated behind closed doors for a Republican caucus. Asked the topic, Senate GOP Caucus Chairman Brad Little said, “About being good boys and girls – civility.” But it’s a good bet that more than politeness will come up, as…

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