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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 9, 2010

TUESDAY, FEB. 9, 2010

Mike Ferguson, the governor's chief economist, briefs the House Democratic Caucus about the latest state tax revenue figures. They showed another shortfall in January, but Ferguson said the number is misleading because of a timing change in tax filings, and the state's revenues appear to be on forecast. (Betsy Russell)

Ferguson: Forecast is still good

Gov. Butch Otter's chief economist, Mike Ferguson, says there's nothing in the January revenue figures that would persuade him to adjust his forecast for state revenue for the current year or next year - as he did both last year and the year before. "You…

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Bill Roden, lobbyist for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, presents the tribe's law-enforcement legislation to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The committee voted unanimously to introduce the bill. (Betsy Russell)

House Judiciary introduces CdA Tribe bill

The House Judiciary Committee has voted unanimously to introduce legislation proposed by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe regarding cooperative agreements between tribal police and local sheriffs. "I'm in the dark here on how all this works, and I would like to know more about that," said…

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AARP: 'A vote against the people of Idaho' 

The Idaho AARP has released a strongly worded statement condemning today's House vote in favor of HB 391, the "Idaho Health Freedom Act," headed, "Idaho House moves state closer to health care disaster." In its statement, the group said the bill could cost Idaho millions…

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Speaker: 'Tempers are getting shorter'

House Speaker Lawerence Denney said after today's stormy House debate on health care reform, "I've been expecting something to come up. There's a lot of stress, and tempers are getting shorter. ... I hope that that's the hardest one that we have to do." Denney…

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Bill passes, 52-18 

HB 391, the Idaho Health Freedom Act, has passed the House on a 52-18 vote - a straight party-line vote, with all Republicans voting in favor, and all Democrats voting against. Shortly before the vote, Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, began her debate for the bill…

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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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Eye On Boise

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