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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 18, 2010

THURSDAY, FEB. 18, 2010

Bill exempts rural homes from fire code 

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Senate panel sided with backers of giving people more freedom to build rural homes where and how they please, even if they don't conform to fire safety rules. Under the measure, SB…

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Retiree: 'Leave our money alone!' 

Vern Bisterfeldt, who worked as a Boise city police officer for 28 years, then served as an Ada County commissioner, and now serves on the Boise City Council, is speaking out against the move by the House State Affairs Committee today to block a 1…

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About 200 school board members from throughout the state filled the Senate Education Committee meeting on Thursday afternoon. The president of the Idaho School Boards Association, Wayne Freedman, told lawmakers that school districts need maximum flexibility to cope with looming budget cuts. (Betsy Russell)

School trustees plead for flexibility in cuts

There are 200 school board members from all over the state in town today for an Idaho School Boards Association meeting, and that's why the Legislature's largest hearing room, the west wing auditorium, is full for the Senate Education Committee meeting this afternoon, where ISBA…

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Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, displays an antique doorknob - an original from the state Capitol - that was anonymously left in a box on his desk. Many of the heavy brass doorknobs, heavily etched with the state seal, disappeared over the years. Stegner said he intends to get it back on a Statehouse door. (Betsy Russell)

Long-lost doorknob returns... 

Sen. Joe Stegner found a box on his desk today, and in it was one of the original missing antique heavy brass doorknobs from the state Capitol, with the state seal and the saying "Esto Perpetua" deeply engraved into its surface, along with a note.…

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Who's affected by PERSI fight?

The legislative dust-up over a scheduled 1 percent cost of living adjustment that state retirees are scheduled to receive in March affects 33,000 retirees from 728 employers, the largest of which is the state; the employers also include local units of government across the state,…

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Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, pitches the "Firearm Freedom Act" to the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday, exempting any Idaho-manufactured guns or ammunition from all federal laws and from registration requirements. The committee agreed to introduce his bill. (Betsy Russell)

Harwood proposes 'Firearm Freedom Act' 

Idaho would declare that any gun or ammunition manufactured in the state doesn't have to be registered and is exempt from all federal laws and regulations, under legislation introduced at the request of Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, this morning. "This is a state sovereignty…

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PERSI: 'They're the plan sponsor' 

Don Drum, director of the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho, said of a legislative committee's surprise reconsideration and passage today of previously-killed legislation to block a 1 percent COLA for state retirees next month, "They're the plan sponsor, and they can make decisions. ...…

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Dems leaders blast PERSI switch

House minority leaders are blasting the GOP majority for its move today to suddenly, and without notice, reconsider already-killed legislation blocking a 1 percent COLA for state retirees - which was scheduled to take effect in March. House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said the…

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Dems: 'This is a complete ambush'

Democrats on the committee strenuously objected to reconsidering HCR 42, the measure to block a 1 percent COLA for state retirees, today - after it was rejected on a 13-5 vote after a full hearing yesterday. "This is a complete ambush today," said Rep. Anne…

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Hart immigration bill killed

The House State Affairs Committee has killed HB 497, Rep. Phil Hart's immigration bill. A motion to amend it instead and remove much of the bill - the section to suspend employers' licenses for violations - failed on a 6-11 vote, and then a motion…

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Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, presents his immigration legislation to the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday. It seeks to penalize employers who knowingly employ undocumented immigrants by suspending their business licenses. (Betsy Russell)

Hart: 'The U.S. is a magnet for these people' 

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, is presenting his immigration legislation to the House State Affairs Committee this morning, seeking to penalize employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants by suspending their business licenses. The measure, HB 497, also includes misdemeanor penalties for using false identification to secure…

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Airport debt measure clears House panel

HJR 5, a constitutional amendment to allow indebtedness for public airports and air navigation facilities, cleared the House State Affairs Committee this morning with just one "no" vote, after military officials confirmed that it'd be helpful to Idaho's bid to land an F-35 training base…

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The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee hears from legislative committee chairmen on Thursday, starting with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, in preparation for beginning the setting of next year's state agency budgets on Monday. (Betsy Russell)

JFAC hears from germane committee chairs

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee is hearing today from legislative committee chairmen on their recommendations on budgets. House Judiciary Chairman Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, went first, telling JFAC his committee is working to quickly pass the surcharge on convictions that courts are seeking to make up…

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The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee gathers for a workshop at 7 a.m. on Thursday to go over the steps it will have to take Friday morning to cut $69 million out of the current year's budget - which protecting K-12 public schools from the current-year cut. (Betsy Russell)

School funding plan taking shape... 

JFAC members gathered this morning in a workshop meeting to begin going over the figures and steps they'll have to take tomorrow to cut $69 million out of the current year's state budget. A proposal worked up by the JFAC co-chairs, other JFAC members, education…

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Eye On Boise

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