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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2007

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2007

JFAC sets ITD budget, puts off GARVEE

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has set the budget for the Idaho Transportation Department, the last remaining state agency budget to be set – but has delayed a decision on GARVEE bonding. Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, said the joint committee hopes to get to…

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Shift to homeowners continues

Even after lawmakers last year raised the homeowner's exemption for the first time in a quarter-century, owners of residential property are continuing to pick up a bigger and bigger share of Idaho's property tax burden, while the share for other types of property – businesses,…

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No debate on controversial ATV bill

The House on Thursday voted unanimously – with no debate – to pass HB 187 to ban all-terrain vehicles from paved city and county roads unless local governments pass rules allowing them, a measure strongly opposed by Panhandle ATV riders and sheriffs. Read Parker Howell’s…

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Amendments, amendments

The House is in its amending order now, amending HB 245, the bill from IACI to phase in the elimination of the personal property tax on business equipment. Democrats offered an amendment to trim the business tax cut back to just its first year –…

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That's it for now...

The Senate has now dissolved its Committee of the Whole Senate without successfully approving any amendments to the grocery tax bill, HB 81, but the bill remains on the amending order. When formally reporting to the Senate the progress of the Committee of the Whole,…

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Debate is on regarding amending grocery tax

The Senate is in its 14th Order, debating possible amendments to HB 81, the grocery tax credit increase bill. Five possible amendments were filed, but Sen. David Langhorst, D-Boise, withdrew one as the debate began, saying, “We have worked to achieve a compromise.”The amendments range…

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Last-minute university plan raises eyebrows

Idaho State University is asking for $5 million for a project in Meridian, where the university wants to buy and renovate part of the former Jabil Circuits plant, which is now owned by the Meridian School District. Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, said the facility would…

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Tax deed bill dies in committee

Legislation from Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, to force counties to return surplus proceeds to owners when it auctions off properties for unpaid taxes died in a Senate committee on Wednesday, after earlier passing the House 43-26. Read Parker Howell’s full story here in today’s Spokesman-Review.

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Malepeai’s words bring pause to Senate

The Idaho Senate has voted 20-15 in favor of SB 1172, declaring English to be the official language of the state of Idaho, in a debate that took a personal turn. “It’s not for shutting people out, but bringing people in,” Sen. Mel Richardson, R-Idaho…

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Rev & Tax kills public transit tax

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee, after hearings that stretched for two days, has voted 11-7 against legislation to allow a local option sales tax to fund public transit, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. The bill was heavily backed by Treasure Valley interests, because the…

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Not exactly appetizing...

Rep. Scott Bedke was telling the Idaho Press Club a story about how well lawmakers and Gov. Butch Otter get along, by remembering a time several found the governor in his office in the early morning and came in to visit. “We went in and…

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New ‘teacher compensation model’ in the works

House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, and Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs, announced today that they’ll be introducing legislation later this week to set up an “alternative teacher compensation model” in Idaho, though they won’t push for the bill to pass…

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Citizen legislators juggle interests

Jeff Siddoway sells hunting trips for "monster elk" on his private eastern Idaho ranch. He's also a Republican state senator, reports AP reporter John Miller. So when Siddoway helped kill a bill to outlaw "shooter-bull" operations – there are 17 in Idaho, including his –…

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Supreme Court issues water ruling

The Idaho Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited water ruling, and it reversed the lower court, which had declared unconstitutional Idaho’s rules for “conjunctive management” of surface and groundwater. Instead, the high court upheld those rules, plus settled various related questions. “The resolution of those…

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Pages put pinch on House

House pages have decided to officially move St. Patrick’s Day from its usual March 17th date, which falls on a Saturday this year, to Friday the 16th – at least for the House. House members were just warned that members who don’t wear green on…

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Early learning standards a communist plot?

The Idaho House has just wrapped up a rambling debate and killed HCR 18 on early learning standards. Check out this report from S-R reporter Parker Howell:The House rejected a nonbinding resolution asking state agencies to develop learning standards for young children and to create…

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A waiting game?

It was looking like two major issues – amendments to the grocery tax credit bill in the Senate, and debate on a big property tax break for business in the House – were shaping up to happen at the same time today, but now neither…

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Scholarship bill back in committee

Why is it that the governor’s scholarship endowment bill, HB 217, has been pulled back to committee? House Education Committee Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, said he pulled the $38 million scholarship bill back to his committee yesterday because of concerns that the amount may…

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Tax break debate put off

The House was clicking through the bills on its agenda so quickly this afternoon that it came right up to HB 245, major legislation to phase in a $100 million tax break for business over the next eight years at the urging of the Idaho…

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It's a dairy day in JFAC

Of all the weighty matters on the JFAC agenda for budget-setting this morning, the biggest crowd was drawn by a $10 million proposal for a new dairy research lab in the Magic Valley for the University of Idaho. The plan, proposed by Gov. Butch Otter,…

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Commissioners to get 5 percent pay hikes

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has voted unanimously to approve 5 percent, across-the-board pay hikes for the commissioners who serve on the Industrial Commission, Tax Commission and Public Utilities Commission. That would take industrial commissioners’ salaries from $82,951 to $87,099; tax commissioners from $79,009 to $82,959;…

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