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Eye On Boise archive for March 2009


Freshman Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, the swing vote on a school funding-cut bill in the Senate Education Committee, favored amending the bill rather than killing it. He hopes a clause can be removed that would cut nearly $1.5 million from the Boise School District's allocation for student busing.  (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Winder: 'I think we have a chance'

Freshman Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, was the swing vote in the Senate Education Committee on HB 256, the bill to cut state reimbursements to school districts for their student busing costs. He could've killed the bill by supporting the substitute motion from Sen. Gary Schroeder,…

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'We were just messin' ' 

When SB 1111 passed the House unanimously yesterday, to provide a new self-funded benefit to help permanently disabled law enforcement officers like former Coeur d'Alene police officer Mike Kralicek with their family's health insurance costs - the bill wouldn't help Kralicek, but it'd help others…

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Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, said he's "not mad at all" at Gov. Butch Otter, and said his forceful debate against gas tax increases in the House on Tuesday morning was just his usual debating style. "I just get pretty passionate," he said. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Nonini: 'I'm not mad at all' 

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, asked why he's so mad at the governor, said, "I'm not mad at all." His forceful debate in the House against amendments increasing the amount of a gas tax increase - including calling Gov. Butch Otter's executive order mandating accountability…

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Guv: 'Still hopeful'

Gov. Butch Otter's press secretary, Jon Hanian, was circumspect after the House's defeat this morning of seven separate amendments to the gas tax bill, several of them designed to raise the amount closer to what Otter wants to fund roadwork. "We're obviously mindful of the…

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Session contribution reporting bill introduced

The House Ways & Means Committee has voted unanimously, with no discussion, to introduce legislation from Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, requiring reporting within 48 hours of campaign contributions received during a convened legislative session. Idaho now has no restrictions or special reporting requirements for such…

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Boat sticker bill goes to governor

The Idaho Senate has voted 34-1 in favor of legislation to require all boats launched in Idaho, motorized or not, to carry a $5, $10 or $20 sticker to help fund the fight against invasive quagga and zebra mussels. The bill, HB 213, earlier passed…

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Don Soltman, vice president of Kootenai Medical Center and a former longtime Lakeland School District trustee, was appointed Tuesday to the Idaho State Board of Education by Gov. Butch Otter. (Courtesy photo / Courtesy photo)

Soltman appointed to Board of Ed

Gov. Butch Otter has appointed Don Soltman, vice president at Kootenai Medical Center and a former longtime school trustee in the Lakeland School District, to the state Board of Education. Soltman fills the position formerly held by Sue Thilo of Coeur d'Alene. Click below to…

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End result: One for eight

So after all that, with two hours of debate, the House has rejected seven of the proposed amendments to HB 135, the gas tax bill, and approved one - making relatively minor changes in wording in the bill. The successful amendment, proposed by House Majority…

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'Trigger' amendment fails

With all the amendments to raise the amount of the gas tax increase in HB 135 failing, the House took up an "economic trigger" amendment proposed by Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise. He said it would delay any tax increase until Idaho's economy improves. "At that…

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'Two by two' amendment also fails

Rep. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, urged the House to reject the proposal to amend her 2-cent gas tax hike bill to make it into a phased, two-year, 4-cent hike. Rep. Marv Hagedorn, closing the debate, said lawmakers have an "obligation to maintain our infrastructure." The $17.6…

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'Need to be respectful'

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, debated against the two-year, 2-cent a year gas tax hike plan, saying it doesn't give lawmakers enough leverage to force changes at ITD. "If we give 'em a big tax increase this year, we're giving away our bargaining tools," Hart said.…

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'Two by two' plan is up next

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, is now debating for his amendment, to raise the gas tax two cents next year and an additional two cents the following year. "We don't use general funds here - the department gets what they earn, and they earn funding through…

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4-cent amendment fails, too

"It reminds me of going duck hunting, when there's a flock of ducks going over and if you don't take aim at one of them, you wind up not getting any," said Rep. Richard Jarvis, R-Meridian. "Words to live by, good gentleman," responded House Assistant…

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4 cents: 'How low can you go?'

Now the House is debating a proposal from Rep. Richard Jarvis, R-Meridian, for a four-cent gas tax increase. "What we're dealing with now is a tax increase on a tax increase," said Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis. Rep. Steve Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, said the House appears…

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5-cent amendment goes down

After much debate, the first amendment to change the amount of the gas tax bill - from 2 cents next year to 5 cents - has been defeated. Rep. Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, who sponsored the amendment, said it would raise $26.4 million annually for…

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Fourth amendment fails

The fourth amendment to HB 135 would've changed the distribution of funds raised by the gas tax increase back to the current split for gas taxes of 62 percent to the state, 38 percent to local highway districts. Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, sponsored this…

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Third amendment passes

House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, introduced the third amendment to HB 135, making various wording changes in the existing bill, including allowing new gas tax proceeds to be used for maintenance of new roads as well as existing roads, and allowing for the…

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Second amendment also fails

Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, also sponsored the second amendment, which would have directed funding to regional transit authorities where they exist in the state, or to roads where they don't. "It gives us another avenue to fund our public highways," Durst said. "We need to…

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House debates local-option tax issue 

Among those speaking in favor of the local-option amendment was Rep. Pat Takasugi, R-Wilder, who said, "I think it's good for rural, it's good for urban, and I would urge your support for the amendment." Said Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, "Some places in the state…

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'Seems much more democratic'

Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, introducing the first amendment to HB 135, said, "This is the moment we've all been waiting for - we're actually going to get to talk about local option on the floor of the House." Durst said lawmakers are willing to "vote…

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Gov. Butch Otter talks with reporters after a proclamation-signing on Tuesday morning. The governor said the 2-cent gas tax increase bill that the House is poised to amend currently doesn't go far enough to address the need for additional road work. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Guv: No deal yet on transportation

As the House prepares to consider amendments to HB 135, Rep. JoAn Wood's bill to raise the gas tax just 2 cents next year, Gov. Butch Otter said he's not reached any deal with House leadership on transportation. "I am aware that they're trying very…

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Eye On Boise

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

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