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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 19, 2010

FRIDAY, FEB. 19, 2010

Otter slams press coverage 

Gov. Butch Otter, in a guest opinion distributed to Idaho media today, blasts unnamed "newspaper columnists" for allegedly twisting facts in reporting on his budget proposals this year. "There was a time when most newspaper columnists at least paid lip service to the good intentions…

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Wayne Hammon, Gov. Butch Otter's budget director, poses with Big Bird and Idaho Public Television General Manager Peter Morrill, right, before the taping Friday of the "Idaho Reports" program at the IPTV studio in Boise. (Courtesy photo / Idaho Public Television)

The week that was...

Here’s a link to the sixth week of Idaho’s legislative session in pictures, as a slide show. Let your cursor hover over the bottom part of the picture frame, and the captions will appear as the slide show plays. Tonight, on Idaho Public Television’s “Idaho…

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AARP speaks out against PERSI bill 

The Idaho AARP is speaking out vehemently against HCR 42, the bill that passed the House today to block a scheduled 1 percent cost of living increase for state retirees next month. “This legislation says the state of Idaho does not value its retirees –…

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Bill gives lawmakers more say in redistricting 

Here's a news item from The Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Republican lawmaker is making another run at revamping how Idaho draws up election boundaries every 10 years. Rep. Tom Loertscher's bill, introduced in the House State Affairs Committee Friday, would let the…

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Dems' delaying move on HCR 42 fails

It turns out that Democrats won't be able to bring HCR 42 back for reconsideration in the House, because the speaker ruled that under House Rule 40, though serving notice to reconsider normally would mean reconsideration could be taken up the next legislative day, if…

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House suspends rules, takes up PERSI COLA

The full House has suspended its rules and is now considering HCR 42, the bill to block a scheduled 1 percent cost-of-living increase for state retirees. The bill just emerged from the State Affairs Committee yesterday on a party-line vote, after being killed overwhelmingly in…

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Guv applauds JFAC decisions

Gov. Butch Otter has issued a statement applauding JFAC for its decisions on balancing the current year's state budget and protecting public schools from any mid-year cut this year. "The JFAC plan is an appropriate response to the latest economic news," Otter said in the…

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'The budget for 2010 is balanced'

Cathy Holland-Smith, legislative budget director, told JFAC her staff is distributing its first general fund budget update, showing the impact of budget decisions the joint committee just has made. "It does reflect very, very difficult choices, but at this point the budget for 2010 is…

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Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, presides over the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee Friday as it votes to protect public schools from budget cuts this year, though schools face even bigger cuts next year. (Betsy Russell)

Second motion passes unanimously

The second motion in JFAC this morning, from Co-Chair Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, has passed on a unanimous, 19-0 vote. "This motion restores the money to public schools that was taken in the previous motion," said Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. "It is totally restored,…

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The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee takes action Friday morning to cut the current year's budget; though most agencies will see deep, 7.1 percent cuts, public schools would be protected by tapping reserve and stimulus funds. (Betsy Russell)

First motion passes on party-line vote

The first motion has passed JFAC on a party-line vote, 15-4, to cut $188.75 million out of the current year's budget. The committee's four Democrats voted no. "The bottom line is so much lower than the governor's proposal," said Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum. "It does…

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JFAC members gather for a 7 a.m. workshop on Friday to prepare for major budget-cutting actions scheduled to start at 8 a.m. The cuts are in the current year's budget, due to falling state revenues. (Betsy Russell)

The magnitude of the cuts...

As JFAC prepares for momentous decisions this morning - how to balance the current year's budget with $69 million less than the state thought it had as of the governor's State of the State address in January - the scale of the cuts is starting…

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Eye On Boise

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