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Eye On Boise archive for March 2006

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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JFAC agenda includes ‘Strengthening Idaho’

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee’s agenda is up for Wednesday morning, and don’t be fooled – it’s all there. There are decisions on funding on various bills that have passed, from capitol restoration to elected officials’ salaries; decisions on funding school-construction legislation; and something called the…

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Candidate for governor announces engagement

1st District Congressman Butch Otter, who’s running for governor, has announced his engagement to Lori Easley, a vice principal in the Meridian School District. A photo of the engaged couple is posted on Otter’s campaign website, showing the two smiling tensely. The site notes that…

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MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2006

It’s a hot time in the Gold Room

Things are getting hot in the Gold Room of the state Capitol, where people have been lined up shoulder-to-shoulder for hours and every seat is full, as testimony stretches on about a controversial bill regarding water rights, Idaho Power, and recharging the Snake plain aquifer.…

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FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2006

‘A bad day for bad people’

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne declared, “This is a good day for law enforcement. This is a bad day for bad people,” as he signed legislation today to crack down on gang activity and to toughen sex-offender registration and sentencing laws. People need to know where sex…

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'Patron Saint of the North'

Sen. Dick Compton, R-Coeur d’Alene, was giving a rundown of everything North Idaho lawmakers have had to go through in the past to cadge a bit of money each year to protect water quality in the Rathdrum Prairie aquifer, and he mentioned the role Senate…

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Minimum wage bill killed, 12-5

The House State Affairs Committee, after a hearing that ran nearly two hours, has voted 12-5 to kill HB 843, a Democratic proposal to raise Idaho’s minimum wage from the current $5.15 an hour to $6.15, and to index it to inflation in the future.…

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Crowd bids farewell to influential tax chair

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee meeting room was transformed into a party room this morning, with three kinds of cake, lots of visiting and reminiscing, and congrats to longtime Chairwoman Dolores Crow, R-Nampa, who is retiring after this session.When Randy Nelson, head of Associated…

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North Idaho water adjudication bill passes

HB 545, the bill to adjudicate all the water rights in North Idaho, just passed the Senate on a 30-5 vote and headed for the governor’s desk. “There is nothing more sacred in the state of Idaho than water,” sponsor Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake,…

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'A good day for North Idaho'

Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, commented, “It’s a good day for North Idaho,” just after the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee voted unanimously just now to approve funding for the North Idaho water rights adjudication. Just before that, they’d voted 19-1 in favor of a…

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Enough is enough!

Everyone’s starting to feel it – this legislative session has gone on too long already. Lenette Bendio, attaché in the legislative bill and mail room, decided to announce her feelings about it today by hanging a bright red “Out of Order” sign around her neck.…

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MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2006

FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2006

Maybe Risch will get his session

At first blush, it certainly seems that with only 8 months in office and no legislative session, the upcoming Risch Administration might not make much of a mark legislatively, despite Gov. Jim Risch’s long history as one of the state’s most skilled state senators and…

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