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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 23, 2010

TUESDAY, FEB. 23, 2010

Budget stifles fossil plan

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The State Historical Society has abandoned a plan to transfer oversight of discoveries of woolly mammoths and other ancient creatures on state land to an Idaho State University museum, at least for now.…

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Harwood withdraws road-kill bill

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, has asked the House Resources Committee to let him withdraw his road-kill bill, HB 562, and the committee agreed unanimously. "My intention with this bill was just to make it real simple, if you see a dead furbearer out on…

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AARP lauds Senate move on retiree COLA 

The AARP of Idaho has released a statement lauding the state Senate for killing HCR 42, the measure to block a scheduled 1 percent cost-of-living increase next month for state retirees. “Without this COLA, state retirees living on the brink would see tougher times ahead,”…

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Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, presents legislation to the House Resources Committee on Tuesday to exempt hunting licenses and tags from the Idaho Public Records Law. (Betsy Russell)

Resources panel backs hunter secrecy bill 

The House Resources Committee has agreed to send HB 531 to the House's amending order with committee amendments attached, to clear up a wording problem in the bill. The measure, from Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, would make all hunting licenses and tags secret, plus add…

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Hospital debt amendment easily clears House

There was a long debate, but in the end, HJR 4, a constitutional amendment to allow indebtedness for hospital districts without voter approval, easily gained the two-thirds vote it needed to pass the House today. The measure passed 65-5, with just four Republicans and one…

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Senate, House part ways on PERSI COLA

The abrupt cancellation of this afternoon's scheduled hearing on HCR 42, the House-passed - and House GOP leadership-backed - hurry-up measure to block a cost of living increase for state retirees could create tensions between the House and Senate, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Joe Stegner…

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Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announces the top 10 sources of consumer complaints to his office in 2009, a list that was topped by mortgage-modification fraud complaints. At a news conference in his office on Tuesday, Wasden said consumer complaints to his office in 2009 were up 11 percent. (Betsy Russell)

Home-loan modifications top consumer complaints

The top consumer complaint in Idaho in 2009, according to Attorney General Lawrence Wasden: Mortgage modification fraud. "We received reports of outrageous fraud," Wasden said at a news conference this morning. "Some of these operators took advantage of desperate homeowners by charging hundreds, or even…

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House panel backs Moyle voter ID bill 

The House State Affairs Committee has approved HB 496, House Majority Leader Mike Moyle's bill to require people to show a valid photo ID or sign an affidavit before they're allowed to vote. Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, offered a substitute motion to send the bill…

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The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee set a capital budget for next year on Tuesday that includes few new building projects beyond a maintenance shop at an Orofino prison and various alteration and repair projects. (Betsy Russell)

Capital budget has few projects this year

The Permanent Building Fund budget, the state's capital budget, usually is the focus of much attention as various construction projects vie for state funding; not this year. JFAC this morning set a budget that's identical to the governor's recommendation. It calls for $19.9 million for…

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Vote-switch kills tobacco bill 

An Idaho senator whose husband is a tobacco-company lobbyist snuffed out a bill Monday to ban the industry's latest product, the Associated Press reports. Sen. Melinda Smyser, R-Parma, changed her vote after members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee initially voted 5-4 for a…

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Eye On Boise

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