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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 25, 2010

THURSDAY, FEB. 25, 2010

Guv makes unprecedented visit to GOP caucus 

Gov. Butch Otter made an unprecedented visit to the state Capitol's fourth floor today to huddle behind closed doors with the House GOP caucus over the recent House-Senate clash over a 1 percent cost-of-living increase for state retirees; House Republicans pushed through a measure to…

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When partings are sweetened...

Here's a link to my full story at spokesman.com on the bill introduced today to ban purchases of additional retirement service for state employees to get them to retire early - a practice that resulted in $125,000 in such state expenditures in 2009, including $72,781…

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The budget blueprint...

Here's a link to my full story at spokesman.com on the budget blueprint that the JFAC co-chairs laid out for the joint committee and the public today, and here's a link to the numbers - the five pages of figures that legislative budget director Cathy…

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Committee backs review of exemptions 

The Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee was unanimous this afternoon, agreeing to send the full Senate SB 1381, the bill from Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, to require the Legislature to review all sales tax exemptions at least every five years, and put a five-year…

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New 'Friends of Parks' group forms

A new private non-profit group called "Friends of Idaho Parks & Recreation" has formed to fight budget cuts to parks, work to increase volunteerism in state parks and generate long-term funding. The group's formation was announced at today's Parks Board meeting, at which the board…

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Bill would raise adults' seatbelt fines

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Adults caught in a car without their seatbelts on in Idaho could see their costs rise five-fold. Rep. Rich Wills, a Glenns Ferry Republican, introduced a bill Thursday to add court costs of…

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Texting-while-driving ban draws support 

High school students are among those testifying this afternoon in favor of SB 1352, legislation to ban texting while driving, and all testimony so far is in favor. Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, lead sponsor of the bill, thanked Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise, for…

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Vassar confirmed to ITD board 

Jan Vassar has been unanimously confirmed by the Idaho Senate for a full six-year term on the Idaho Transportation Board, after earlier being appointed to serve for just six weeks to complete the term of the late Bruce Sweeney. Vassar, former Lewiston city manager, administrative…

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Bill delayed for 'posturing' 

The Senate has agreed unanimously to put off its debate on HB 391a, the "Idaho Health Freedom Act," for a day. "With the consent of the sponsor and other individuals," Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis told the Senate, a delay is sought "as everybody gathers…

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Retirement boosts and 'the smell test'...

Here's a link to my full story from November on the payment of more than $125,000 in retirement boosts in six months to three employees at three different state agencies in exchange for their earlier-than-planned retirements; at the time, the move prompted comments from top…

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Mussel program nearly trimmed

JFAC this morning came very close to passing a new restriction on the state Department of Agriculture to stop it from issuing unlimited deficiency warrants to fund the invasive species program, which is seeking to avoid the introduction of quagga and zebra mussels into Idaho…

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Eye On Boise

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