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Eye On Boise archive for March 2007


Otter sets April 17 water summit

Gov. Butch Otter has scheduled his long-promised “water summit” for April 17th in Burley. “The Idaho Supreme Court’s March 5 ruling that the state has authority to manage ground water and surface water as a single resource cleared the way for that summit to occur,”…

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Apple slices vs. orange segments

Kurt Douglas, an engineer at Micron Technology, is filling in for Boise Sen. Elliot Werk today. In the Senate, Douglas spoke out on the school budget and the 3 percent vs. 5 percent for raises. “Five percent of an apple is always going to be…

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Senate adjourns in memory of Rep. Miller

The Senate has just adjourned until tomorrow in memory of former Rep. Janet Miller, R-Boise, whose funeral is this afternoon. The former lawmaker and longtime Republican activist died last week of cancer. Both houses are adjourning early today to allow lawmakers to attend her funeral.

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Senate passes public schools budget bills

The Senate has passed the remaining pieces of the public school budget – a key move toward finishing up the legislative session. The bills still need House approval and the governor’s signature to become law. Objections to the budgets came from a handful of senators,…

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Lurching toward – adjournment?

The news yesterday about the prospects for ending this now-overdue legislative session was almost too depressing to post – there was none. House Speaker Lawerence Denney said at noon that he hadn’t spoken with the governor since the previous Wednesday. This morning’s JFAC meeting was…

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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007

Primary election bill back in play

The Senate State Affairs Committee has agreed on a party-line vote to introduce legislation changing Idaho’s primary election system. Under the proposed plan, Idahoans would have to register with a political party, but they could choose ‘independent’ and still vote in primary elections. However, their…

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FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2007

Dems call for ‘revolving door’ law

House Democrats have drafted legislation to ban legislators from being paid as legislative lobbyists for a year after they leave the Legislature, and House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, said the bill will be considered next week in the House Ways & Means Committee. “We…

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Duncan trial set for next January

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has set Joseph Duncan’s trial on federal kidnapping, murder and child-molesting charges for next January, splitting the difference between the prosecution’s request to start the trial in July and the defense’s to put it off until August of 2008. The…

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He’s serious, even driven

Although Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, has been teased by fellow lawmakers about his concerns about state agencies' use of vehicle fleets, he wants to contact every state agency over the summer and submit a report on vehicle use to the Legislature next year, Parker…

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‘We really could be done tomorrow’

But we won’t be. That was the message House Majority Leader Mike Moyle just gave the House. “You guys have done a really good job today and we’re caught up, we really could be done tomorrow. But there’s a few things in the wings,” he…

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The House’s ‘fleet vehicle investigator’

Lawmakers have gotten a lot of mileage out of criticism by Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, of vehicle fleets used by state agencies, Parker Howell reports. Last week, Nonini voted against a Department of Health and Welfare funding bill, arguing that he sees unused vehicles…

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Otter vetoes bowling alley smoking ban

Gov. Butch Otter has just vetoed HB 121, the bill to ban smoking in Idaho bowling alleys. “Given legislative concerns about ‘social engineering,’ particularly in regard to my proposal for targeted expansion of the grocery tax credit, in the interest of consistency it seems reasonable…

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GOP senators talk GARVEE

The Senate Republican caucus has emerged after long hours in caucus debating over the GARVEE bonding plan. “We’ve got a ways to go, but we’re talking about doing something with GARVEE,” said Caucus Chairman Brad Little, R-Emmett. Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, said he’s glad…

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Having fun in State Affairs

After dealing with topics such as restricting Idaho's primaries and making English Idaho's official language, the House State Affairs Committee tackled a less controversial topic this morning, reports Parker Howell: who showed up to meetings earliest. Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, distributed prizes to the earliest…

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‘It’s an awkward position to be in’

Here are a few North Idaho lawmakers’ reactions to the governor’s veto of the grocery tax relief bill:Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, said, “I think should this veto survive, it might give more impetus to considering real grocery tax reform down the road,” such as…

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Gov. Otter: ‘It’s the wrong thing to do’

Gov. Butch Otter has vetoed the grocery tax relief bill that lawmakers in both houses earlier passed by overwhelming majorities. “It’s the wrong thing to do,” Otter told The Spokesman-Review. “It spends $11 million more than we wanted to.” He said “the most obvious and…

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It’s true – Otter vetoed HB 81

The governor’s office confirms that Gov. Butch Otter has vetoed HB 81a, the bill to increase the grocery tax credit – the one that won final passage in the Senate unanimously and the House with just six no votes. The veto message is expected out…

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Senate backs overriding Panhandle Health rule

The Senate has voted 23-8 in favor of legislation rejecting stricter septic system rules for North Idaho, reports S-R reporter Parker Howell. Concerned that Panhandle Health District rules will hinder development by requiring larger drain fields and septic tanks, especially on expensive lakefront property, Panhandle…

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MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2007

Dancers rattle capitol

A troop of young Irish dancers rocked capitol reporters today – literally, reports Parker Howell. The Treasure Valley girls from the An Daire Academy of Irish Dance performed in the first-floor Statehouse rotunda in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, ringlets flying, shaking the reporters’ work…

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