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Eye On Boise archive for March 2007


The session that was

Frustrated lawmakers are heading home from their three-month legislative session without the one thing many had as their top priority to accomplish this year: Relief from the sales tax on groceries. Read the full story here on our overview of this year’s just-concluded legislative session.…

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FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007

Settlement reached in University Place scandal

Boise attorneys Roy Eiguren and L. Edward Miller will keep their licenses to practice law and no longer face charges stemming from their involvement in the University Place saga, the Idaho Business Review reports. The agreement between the attorneys and the Idaho State Bar was…

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An ode to the 2007 Idaho Legislature

Out on the Moyle highwayYou’ll need no social engineerIt’s a slippery slope where they tax your food And the end of the session is near.There will be no smoking while bowlingBut they’ll try to keep mom at homeHere at the Idaho StatehouseMini-wings will sprout from…

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House Appropriations Committee meets

The House Appropriations Committee, the House half of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, is meeting now to consider introducing the new highway bonding bill. The bill sets a maximum of $250 million for GARVEE bonding for next year, and lists the six highway projects but gives…

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Still waiting…

Both houses have taken a lunch break, and are scheduled to come back into session at 1:30. Perhaps then we’ll know if they can come together today on a highway bonding plan and end the legislative session, now in its 82nd day…

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Possible new GARVEE number: $250 million

The draft that’s being considered by lawmakers to settle the standoff over GARVEE highway bonding has a different total than the two bills that died earlier. It’s $250 million. The last two proposals totaled $246 million, and the governor’s original proposal totaled $264 million. The…

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The waiting game

With legislative leaders working on a compromise on a highway bonding plan, most rank-and-file members have been left sitting around, waiting. So, what do to? Here, Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, tries some Sudoku on the computer.

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Leadership emerges with possible compromise

House and Senate GOP leaders just emerged from two hours of closed-door meetings saying they have a compromise proposal on highway bonding. Now, “We’ll go to caucus,” said House Speaker Lawerence Denney. The proposal is acceptable to leadership on both sides, “contingent upon whether or…

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Don’t forget the float tubes, kayaks and rafts

Let me get this straight. Our libertarian, less-government governor now is interested in having Idaho license canoes? That idea was basically shouted out of the Legislature the last time it was proposed. But today, Gov. Butch Otter allowed HB 200, raising boat registration fees, to…

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They’re talking…

Talks between House and Senate leaders and the governor appear to be bearing some fruit, possibly in the form of a new version of the GARVEE highway bonding bill. “We’ve all been down in the governor’s office,” said House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley.…

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Senate kills GARVEE bill

After two hours of tense debate, the Senate has voted 23-12 to kill a controversial highway bonding plan that pitted the House against the Senate. The defeat, which throws into doubt the plans to wrap up this year’s legislative session today, came because the bill…

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Election bill backer hoping for more time

S-R reporter Parker Howell reports that advocates of changing Idaho's primary election system to avert a potential legal battle between the state and the Idaho Republican Party have come up with yet another plan. The proposal comes hot on the heels of SB 1244, introduced…

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‘Rotting on the docket’

Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs, says last Friday was really time for the Legislature to go home – but they’re still going. Today, he’s come up with a new “term of art” to describe bills still on the calendar – they’re “rotting…

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‘Just one more service we provide’

At this crazy point in a legislative session, everyone’s under pressure – but some handle it with humor. Lenette Bendio, attaché in the legislative bill and mail room, had this sign posted on her counter today: “Sarcasm – Just one more service we provide.”

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House votes to override veto on grocery tax

The House has voted 48-22 to override Gov. Butch Otter’s veto of HB 81a, the bill to increase the grocery tax credit across the board. Otter wanted a targeted, means-tested plan instead, but lawmakers didn’t support that. “Everybody knows the track record with this bill…

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Who's afraid?

Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, just noted that Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis was “frowning” so he said he’d refrain from a comment he was about to make in JFAC. Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, said, “Don’t be afraid of my leadership – I’m not…

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JFAC backs list of GARVEE projects again

On a 12-8 vote, JFAC has just approved a motion from Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, to fund GARVEE projects next year at the same level as his earlier successful motion – $246 million – with the same list of dollar amounts per project. That…

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Otter willing to wait on grocery tax?

Gov. Butch Otter today, for the first time, sounded ready to let the grocery tax relief issue go for this year. “My bill wasn’t going to take effect until 2008,” he said. “What I’m saying is that we could get busy in early January next…

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House members debate how to pay teachers

As the House debated the public school budget today, there was lots of back-and-forth about the budget plan’s 3 percent raises for school employees, as opposed to the 5 percent merit-pay increase state agency employees are getting, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. House Education Committee…

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Revolving door bill wins speaker’s support

The House Ways & Means Committee has voted unanimously to introduce legislation to ban former legislators from working as paid lobbyists for one year – with House Speaker Lawerence Denney as a co-sponsor along with House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet. “This is one of the…

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Now they're moving

The three public school budget bills that the Senate passed this morning have been rushed over to the House, where they’ve suspended rules and taken them up right away. This kind of speedy movement happens only at the end of a legislative session – and…

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.

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