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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2007

FRIDAY, FEB. 2, 2007

Democrats push campaign finance reform

GOP senators bristled, harrumphed and took umbrage this morning when faced with legislation sponsored by all seven Democratic senators to start a public financing program for state campaigns in Idaho, and to require financial disclosure of state elected officials’ assets – saying backers of the…

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No guarantees on newest abortion bill

Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, introduced legislation this morning designed to require parental consent for minors’ abortions. Idaho already has passed such legislation three other times, only to have it overturned in court each time – with the state being ordered to pay court costs and…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 1, 2007

At least two Idahoans would pay $6k a bottle

Idaho’s state liquor dispensary has seen a huge jump in sales since 2002 – 87 percent – but not because Idahoans are necessarily boozing it up more. Instead, according to dispensary Superintendent Dyke Nally, the increase is coming from two things: population growth, and customers…

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 31, 2007

Senator: Human life worth more than moose

Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, just convinced the Senate Judiciary Committee to endorse his bill to revoke hunting privileges for life for anyone who shoots someone while hunting and then is convicted of manslaughter. “It seems to me that a person’s life is worth more…

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Four grocery tax bills introduced

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee has agreed unanimously to introduce four grocery tax bills: One from Gov. Butch Otter to create his targeted grocery tax credit, which gives a much higher credit to low-income Idahoans and costs the state an additional $22 million a…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 30, 2007

9th Circuit: Field burning is illegal in Idaho

Field-burning has actually been illegal in Idaho under federal law since 1993, a federal appeals court ruled today. “This decision shows that the handwriting is on the wall for field-burning in Idaho,” said David Baron, a Washington, D.C. attorney with Earthjustice, which represented Safe Air…

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Wings plan presented amid questions

The compromise plan between the governor and the Legislature over adding underground “wings” to the state capitol is being presented to the state Capitol Commission now, but not without some concerns being raised. Sen. Chuck Coiner, R-Twin Falls, told the commission, “I stand very reluctantly.”…

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MONDAY, JAN. 29, 2007

New chamber alliance lists legislative agenda

The new Idaho Chamber Alliance has adopted these issues as its legislative agenda this year: Supporting an expanded community college system, including lowering the supermajority to form a new community college district. Increasing high school graduation requirements in math and science. Supporting local-option taxation to…

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It’s ‘Idaho Film Day’ in the capitol

Dawn Wells, who portrayed Mary Ann on the famed TV show “Gilligan’s Island,” has a message for legislators when they visit the displays at ‘Idaho Film Day’ in the fourth-floor rotunda of the state capitol today. “We’re here for the incentives for the film industry,”…

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Deep in the recesses of the capitol…

More than 100 years ago, an elaborate vault was built in the state capitol for the state treasurer to keep the state’s treasury – the money. “All state moneys in the custody of the state treasurer not otherwise deposited or invested … shall be kept…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 26, 2007

The deal: Single-story wings

Both the Legislature and the governor will ask the state Capitol Commission when it meets on Tuesday to approve a change in the capitol renovation and expansion plans to include single-story, rather than two-story, underground wings at either end of the state capitol. The idea…

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Deal on capitol wings

Members of leadership from both houses emerged from the governor’s office a few minutes ago and said there’s an agreement in principle on the capitol wings, though it’s not final. “It’s our opinion that the Capitol Commission still has a significant stake – so we…

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Deal in works on capitol wings?

House Speaker Lawerence Denney says he and other members of legislative leadership will be meeting with Gov. Butch Otter “sometime today” on the capitol wings issue that has stalled the entire renovation of the state Capitol, and put a damper on the opening weeks of…

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Grocery tax bills coming

House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, says he hasn’t been buried in grocery tax relief proposals, after asking all lawmakers to get him their proposed bills by today. He has Gov. Butch Otter’s bill in hand, and a couple others. “We’ll be having the print…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 25, 2007

'Ripe for investigation'

As Supt. Tom Luna proposes a big new state investment in textbooks, Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise, decried “the overall cost of textbooks,” saying, “It just seems like such a racket out there, and something that’s ripe for investigation.” Luna acknowledged that the costs are high.

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Luna has the answers

So far, new state schools Supt. Tom Luna has had the answers when members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee fired questions at him about his budget proposal. First, Senate Finance Chair Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, questioned Luna about his proposal to separate funding for improving technology…

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Jorgenson, Clark target urban renewal districts

Two North Idaho lawmakers are going after urban renewal districts, introducing legislation designed to sharply rein them in because of concerns over what Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, calls “taxation without representation.” His two bills, co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, were introduced yesterday…

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Luna pledges to start Indian ed office

Idaho’s new school superintendent wants to establish an American Indian education office in his department, but not add two positions, as former Supt. Marilyn Howard had recommended. Instead, Luna said he’ll come up with the positions from within existing staff numbers. “There has been talk…

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