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Eye On Boise archive for June 2009

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2009

Parks warn of big impacts if gas taxes lost

If the Idaho State Parks & Recreation Department got no replacement for the gas tax money it's now receiving for off-road recreation, it'd lay off 10 people and endanger programs that now result in grants to local government entities - $32 million over the last…

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Two Idahoans confirmed to federal posts

Dick Rush and Wally Hedrick have been confirmed by the Obama Administration as Idaho's new USDA farm service agency director and state director for rural development, respectively. Both were nominated for those posts by Congressman Walt Minnick, Idaho's highest-ranking official who is of the same…

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ISP funding ideas: Raise taxes, fees

The Idaho State Police has some suggestions for how to make up the loss of roughly $20 million from its budget when gas tax funds the ISP now receives shift to highways in a year: Raise vehicle registration fees by $5, to generate $8 million;…

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ISP budget faces big hole

The hole that looms to be filled in the Idaho State Police budget is actually larger than some may think, a legislative panel heard this morning. The fiscal year 2010 budget gives the ISP $15.7 million from the state highway fund, which largely comes from…

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The Idaho Recreation Council has printed up bumper stickers opposing a the shift of gas-tax proceeds from off-road vehicle and boat use to state highway needs. The money now funds recreational trails. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Recreationists: 'We want our gas tax back!'

Recreationists were there in force at today's legislative task force meeting, many wearing specially printed-up name tags that said in bright red above their names, "Hello," and below their names, "I WANT MY GAS TAX BACK." The Idaho Recreation Council printed them up, said Wendy…

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Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, speaks out at the first meeting of a legislative task force on Tuesday morning. At left is Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow; at right is Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Labrador: 'I'm not sure what we're doing here' 

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, spoke out sharply after Sen. Dean Cameron's opening remarks at a legislative task force meeting this morning, objecting to Cameron's statements that the task force can't simply shift funding for state parks and the Idaho State Police to the general fund…

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Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, left, opens the first meeting of a legislative task force charged with finding new funding sources for Idaho state parks and the state police, when they lose gas tax funding in a year. Cameron co-chairs the task force, which also includes Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, center, Sen. Diane Bilyeu, D-Pocatello, right, and five other lawmakers. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

'Will mean that this task force has failed'

As the Legislative Task Force that's charged with finding new funding sources for state parks and the Idaho State Police to replace gas taxes they'll lose one year from tomorrow began its first meeting this morning, Co-Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, told the joint House-Senate panel…

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MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2009

Otter: 'Idaho is weathering this storm'

Gov. Butch Otter says there are some bright spots in Idaho's current economic downturn, including an Idaho Air National Guard project at Gowen Field that's restoring 57 jobs, a 16-employee manufacturing firm moving from Spokane to Post Falls, and an expansion in ammunition manufacturing in…

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SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2009

A political question? Or a factual one?

Idaho wants to know whether owners of heavy trucks and cars are paying their fair share for roads. A previous study on the subject suggested heavy trucks underpay and owners of cars and pickups pay too much in transportation fees and taxes. But problems with…

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TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2009

Smith poll: Idahoans unexcited about Obama 

Idaho pollster Greg Smith today released results of a new statewide poll that showed that Idahoans are less favorable toward President Barack Obama than the nation, but they don't feel all that strongly about it. The poll, which queried randomly selected 400 Idahoans 18 and…

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MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2009

More Idaho inmates back in state 

Idaho's Department of Correction says it's now brought back another 68 inmates who had been housed out of state, in Sayre, Okla., bringing the state down to 120 out-of-state inmates, all of whom are now scheduled to be returned to Idaho by the end of…

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North Idaho freeway could include bottleneck 

When the big Garwood-to-Sagle freeway project on Highway 95 in North Idaho is completed, it may have a two-mile, two-lane bottleneck at its southern end before it reaches an existing four-lane highway at Hayden. The Idaho Transportation Board today reviewed an Idaho Attorney General's opinion…

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