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Eye On Boise archive for June 30, 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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Eye On Boise

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