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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 2007

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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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 24, 2007

Kane letter warns Otter is risking 'millions'

Here’s an interesting letter sent by Idaho Capitol Commission Chairman Jack Kane, the former adjutant general of the Idaho National Guard, to Gov. Butch Otter about the standoff between Otter and the Legislature over the capitol renovation project:January 23, 2007Honorable C.L. Butch OtterState Capitol Building2nd…

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Bonners Ferry was the 'friendliest'

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s “Idaho Corps of Discovery Passport” program has expired, ending on Dec. 31, 2006, but the rave reviews are still being tallied from Idaho families who took the challenge to visit all 44 counties and get their “passports” stamped in each. The program…

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A bear of a message

Cute little teddy bears dressed in crisp white nurses’ uniforms graced the desks of every JFAC member this morning, as the joint committee heard budget pitches from the College of Southern Idaho and North Idaho College. Both colleges want to expand their nursing education programs.…

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Otter budget funds nursing buildings, not faculty

Although Gov. Butch Otter wants to spend millions on building new nursing education buildings, his budget includes no funding for $13.6 million in additional faculty, training and pay recommended by a state Nursing Task Force.“You can’t have one without the other, can you?” asked a…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 23, 2007

Sali sponsoring anti-abortion legislation

New Idaho Congressman Bill Sali says he’ll be co-sponsoring a “Right to Life Act” to be introduced in Congress later this week “that affirms the personhood of the unborn.” In a statement, he said, “I promise to be a voice for these small humans –…

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