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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2008

TUESDAY, JAN. 8, 2008

Craig attorney issues statement

Sen. Larry Craig’s lead defense attorney, Billy Martin, has issued this statement: “Our brief contains legal arguments supporting Senator Craig's position that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea. Pursuant to Minnesota law, there is an…

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So it's not really a new problem...

Phones in the Senate chamber have been ringing at inopportune times, and the Senate was just informed that they’ve now all been silenced until the new phone system can be sorted out enough to control the ring volumes. Commented Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, who was…

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MONDAY, JAN. 7, 2008

Phenneger joins Senate race

Post Falls businessman Richard Phenneger commissioned a poll that showed only 21 percent of Idahoans were satisfied with the two major-party frontrunners for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat – Republican Jim Risch and Democrat Larry LaRocco – and now Phenneger’s running too. Phenneger, a…

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Guv makes transportation proposals

Gov. Butch Otter says he’ll support a proposal from Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, and others to raise Idaho’s vehicle registration fees to pay for fixing roads. “We must act without delay to address our growing transportation infrastructure needs,” Otter said. He also called…

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Otter wants 5 percent for state employees, teachers

Raises averaging 5 percent should be granted for all state employees – including teachers, Otter told legislators just now. Lawmakers interrupted him mid-sentence with applause. “My budget proposes a 5 percent pay increase for all our state employees,” he said, adding, “And we must advance…

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Meth ads kick off today, guv says

The governor is touting the graphic anti-meth ads that are starting to air today all over Idaho – and calling for a $1 million state contribution to the effort from the state’s tobacco settlement fund. “You’re going to see disturbing and even shocking images of…

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'Some would have liked a different outcome'

Gov. Otter defended the fuel tax agreements he negotiated with four Idaho Indian tribes, calling them “landmark agreements.” He added, “A lot of credit goes to the leaders of the Coeur d’Alene, Shoshone-Bannock, Nez Perce and Kootenai tribes. I realize that some people would have…

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Lawmakers awaiting governor’s speech

Legislators and onlookers have been filing in to the BSU Special Events Center, milling around and waiting for the governor’s State of the State speech. First, a note on the time stamps that appear on these blog posts – they’re in Pacific time, as are…

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View from the top

So who’s sitting in the new upper level of the House chamber? Its denizens include Reps. Bob Nonini, Eric Anderson, Frank Henderson and Cliff Bayer. It’s not that they got the short end of the stick. “We wanted to be up here,” said Nonini, R-Coeur…

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SUNDAY, JAN. 6, 2008

A look ahead

Here’s a link to my Sunday story looking ahead to the legislative session. It describes how lawmakers who will be crammed into an old courthouse for their annual legislative session – while the state Capitol is closed for a two-year-plus renovation – are hoping for…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 4, 2008

Guv wants to raise pay, cut benefits

Gov. Butch Otter’s chief of administration, Mike Gwartney, told legislators this morning that the administration believes Idaho is underpaying for state employee salaries by about $110 million, but overpaying for benefits by $35 million to $40 million, and has too much liability for state retirees’…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 3, 2008

Things of common interest

The Common Interest, the Idaho citizen group founded by Harvard Professor Keith Allred, has come out with its three top-ranked issues for the upcoming legislative session: Water, Transportation, and Growth Paying for Itself. The group will research those issues, decide on positions, and keep track…

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Sad but true?

House Speaker Lawerence Denney, speaking at the AP’s legislative preview program this morning, said, “I think we can shorten the length of our session by a week just by not having a gallery, and not having to introduce everyone who comes to visit.” This year’s…

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When you - crash! - need a new car...

Idaho’s state Department of Insurance is objecting to a recent Toyota ad campaign that shows people destroying their old cars by smashing them with boulders or pushing them off the top of a parking garage so they can buy a new Toyota – because it…

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