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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2010

TUESDAY, FEB. 9, 2010

House debates 'Health Freedom' bill

Rep. Elfreda Higgins, D-Garden City, spoke against HB 391. "This bill fails to look at unintended and possibly long-term consequences," she said, and would require the state to spend thousands to go to court to fight health care reform requirements. "How can we justify that,…

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Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, argues in favor of the Idaho Health Freedom Act in the House on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell)

Luker: 'Extreme deviation from constitution' 

Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, co-sponsor of the "Idaho Health Freedom Act," told the House, "As Idahoans we are a freedom-loving people and this particular bill deals with that freedom. This bill is very narrowly drafted, it deals with one issue and that is mandatory health…

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How to control colonies of feral cats... 

Here's an oddity: Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise, says experts say neutering and releasing feral cats is actually a better way to get rid of colonies of feral cats than killing individual cats from the colonies, because they reproduce so quickly and the colonies persist. When…

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Moyle pushes voter ID bill 

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, persuaded a unanimous House State Affairs Committee this morning to introduce his bill to require voters to present photo ID's before they can vote. Here's a report from the Associated Press:BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho voters could have to…

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Third immigration bill introduced 

Here's a news item from the AP: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The third bill of the 2010 session to take on employers who knowingly hire illegal workers emerged in the Idaho Legislature. This measure, introduced by Reps. Raul Labrador and Phil Hart on Tuesday in…

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The impact of unemployment...

"In the nearly 34 years I have worked with or for the Idaho Department of Labor, the past year has been the most challenging for Idaho's economy, its 50,000 businesses, its three-quarters of a million workers and for our agency," state Labor Director Roger Madsen…

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Lloyd Knight of the Idaho Department of Agriculture pitches invasive species amendments to the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee on Tuesday; the panel rejected the bill as too broad, saying it would allow Ag to order any driver pulled over, jailed and fined. (Betsy Russell)

Senate panel rejects broad invasive species bill 

The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee this morning refused to introduce invasive species amendments proposed by the state Department of Agriculture after senators noted that the bill, as written, would authorize pulling over any vehicle for simply having a container - say, a cooler in the…

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MONDAY, FEB. 8, 2010

Wayne Hammon, Gov. Butch Otter's budget chief, tells the Senate Education Committee on Monday afternoon that the administration thinks online courses being offered to Idaho students through the Idaho Digital Learning Academy are being "double-funded." Otter has proposed phasing out state funding for IDLA over the next four years. (Betsy Russell)

Hammon: 'They're double-funding this'

Wayne Hammon, Gov. Butch Otter's budget director, told the Senate Education Committee, "There is no cut to IDLA in the governor's budget. ... We continue to have the $5 million going forward." That's the budget that was set for IDLA for this year, before its…

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Egg farms poised for exodus to Idaho? 

The AP reports that Idaho is among several states watching to see if a California animal cruelty law drives big egg farms there to look at leaving the state - and possibly move here. As a result of a 2008 voter initiative, California law will…

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'A very troubling area...'

JFAC members quizzed Idaho Department of Administration officials so long about the Idaho Education Network this morning that they ran over time, and almost had to skip the Capitol Commission's budget hearing. Among the questions was this one from Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert:…

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JFAC mourns Osgood

When JFAC heard the budget request for the state's Permanent Building Fund this morning, a long-familiar participant was missing. Tim Mason of the state Division of Public Works told the joint committee that Larry Osgood passed away nine days ago. Osgood, a mechanical engineer, was…

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Thayn-Durst bill: Scholarships for early grads

Reps. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, and Branden Durst, D-Boise, have introduced legislation that Durst touts as "innovation in education," to set up a pilot project for 21 school districts and three charter schools to offer a special scholarship to students who graduate from high school at…

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