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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2006


Monday could be it

Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, just told reporters that a deal has been reached on aquifer recharge and the session will adjourn Monday, likely without the major property tax relief North Idaho wants.

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On second thought...

John Miller of The Associated Press reports that House Speaker Bruce Newcomb rescinded his punishments for Reps. Bill Sali, R-Kuna, and Tom Loertscher, R-Iona.Miller reports:"The Burley Republican yielded to advice from colleagues who advised him against such a move in the waning days of his…

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Newcomb's revenge?

House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, R-Burley, stripped Rep. Bill Sali, R-Kuna, of his committee seats today, an apparent attempt at revenge for Sali’s challenging Newcomb’s ruling on Wednesday that the combination property tax bill, HB 876, can’t be divided into separate votes.Sali, a candidate for the…

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More eyes on Boise

I’m off Thursday and Friday for a long-planned family gathering, but Spokesman-Review reporter Meghann Cuniff will be keeping an eye on Boise in my absence, and posting updates to this blog. Got tips for Meghann? Contact her at

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HB 876 clears Senate committee on 5-4 vote

The big combo property tax reform bill, HB 876, just cleared the Senate Local Government & Tax Committee on a 5-4 vote, after more than an hour-long hearing in a surprisingly packed Gold Room – the Capitol’s largest hearing room – despite just moments of…

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It turns out that the House recessed without first taking the formal step of transmitting the bill it’d just passed to the Senate – which means it hasn’t arrived over there, and the Senate can’t refer it to committee and hold a 2 p.m. committee…

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Speaker wins hands-down

The House just voted 65-2 to uphold Speaker Bruce Newcomb’s ruling in a face-off with Rep. Bill Sali, R-Kuna, over Sali’s attempt to split up the various parts that make up HB 876, the combination property tax reform bill. “The decision of the speaker has…

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The debate is on

The House is vigorously debating HB 876, the new combo bill that lumps together increasing the homeowner’s exemption, removing the school maintenance property tax levy, and raising the sales tax by 1.25 cents to make up the lost school funding. Among the points brought up…

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North Idaho secede from the state? 

A passing remark in Senate debate yesterday from Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, has prompted talk about North Idaho seceding from the state – though Jorgenson cautioned this morning, “I don’t know of any formal effort to try and do that, but there are people…

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House Rev & Tax concurs in two bills, adds a new one

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee just got out, after an hour-long meeting in which it reached several significant decisions on remaining property tax reform issues:The panel unanimously agreed to concur in Senate amendments to both HB 421, increasing the homeowner’s exemption, and HB 422,…

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First hostage bill released

The Senate has moved HB 791 on its way, the bill to impose a two-year moratorium on new coal-fired plants. The measure had already passed both houses, but last week when House Speaker Bruce Newcomb hijacked several other bills and sent them back to House…

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FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2006

Unversity Place litigation settled

A settlement has been reached in litigation over the University of Idaho’s failed University Place real estate project in Boise. Under its terms, the UI Foundation will pay $2.5 million and the various parties’ insurers will pay $5.8 million, for a total $8.3 million mediated…

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Speaker responds to Senate water vote

Here’s how House Speaker Bruce Newcomb responded right after the Senate voted 14-21 against his water recharge bill, HB 800: “I don’t know where you go from here. … I hope it keeps the discussion alive. … The good part of this is there’s an…

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Water bill fails on 14-21 vote

After a debate stretching for more than three hours – from 11 a.m. right on through the lunch hour and into the mid-afternoon – the Senate has just voted down HB 800, House Speaker Bruce Newcomb’s water recharge bill. The measure was strongly opposed by…

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Lawmakers honor Bianchi

Legislators filled the Gold Room this morning to honor Carl Bianchi, the director of legislative services who tried to retire before this legislative session – but was prevailed upon by legislative leadership to stay on through June.“When he announced his retirement, we turned into lobbyists,”…

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Punching a $40 million hole…

Here’s Rep. Jim Clark’s explanation of the new House property tax bill that was introduced today: “What this will do is it will punch about a $40 million hole in the budget.”Yes, Clark, R-Hayden Lake, doesn’t like the bill, which eliminates school operations property taxes…

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A soft chair and the mice out

When JFAC approved funding this morning for the Capitol renovation project – including moving the Legislature into the abandoned old Ada County Courthouse across the street for at least two future sessions while the work is done, Co-Chair Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, commented as she…

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