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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 2010

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 3, 2010

Panhandle Health to rethink sewer rule

The Panhandle Health District has decided to start work on revisions to its rule limiting expansion of North Idaho cabins on old, non-compliant sewer systems, but the move won't help a Pullman resident who built a big new home on Lake Coeur d'Alene and now…

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Lawmakers enjoy homemade pie at the annual "Pie Day" sponsored by the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators on Wednesday. Home-schooled students also displayed their studies and projects and played music. (Betsy Russell)

And it's pie day... 

Today is the annual "Pie Day" at the state Capitol, when the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators fills the fourth-floor rotunda with displays manned by home-schooled students, showcasing their studies and projects, and hands out a wide and tasty array of homemade pie to lawmakers…

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Parks board backtracks on Dworshak closure

Here's a news item from the AP: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Parks and Recreation Board unanimously voted to reconsider its decision to close Dworshak State Park in northcentral Idaho. The board said Wednesday it was reversing course and no longer considers closing state…

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Claims roll in for North Idaho adjudication

There have been about 4,000 claims filed so far in the North Idaho water adjudication from water-rights claimants in the Coeur d'Alene-Spokane River basin, interim Idaho Water Resources Director Gary Spackman told JFAC this morning. He said he estimates 13,000 claims will be filed as…

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Solution to 'tax gap': More staffing

Royce Chigbrow, chairman of the state Tax Commission, asked how he plans to address the "tax gap" of uncollected taxes, said, "Our plan is to work with the Legislature and to work with the governor's office, because we truly feel that our solution is to…

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Tax audit staff has shared in budget cuts

Questioned on how the state Tax Commission has coped with budget cuts and holdbacks, Tax Commission Chairman Royce Chigbrow said the Tax Commission has eliminated 10 positions, held open about 30 vacancies, and is imposing 20,000 unpaid furlough hours on remaining employees. "Were any of…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 2, 2010

Waiver of asset test for food stamps OK'd

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho will continue to let people with more than $2,000 in assets receive food stamps, at least through May. The Legislature's House Health and Welfare Committee reaffirmed the waiver Tuesday allowing a family…

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"Media Day '10" in the Capitol on Tuesday included displays showcasing parts of Idaho's "creative economy," from filmmaking to video games. (Betsy Russell)

'Media Day' showcases 'creative economy'

There's lots of high-tech film equipment up on the fourth floor rotunda today at "Media Day '10," which is showcasing media innovation and technology. Exhibits cover everything from university film programs to a screenwriters' group to other aspects of the "creative economy." As part of…

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No funding boost to state from ASARCO settlement

Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, asked DEQ Director Toni Hardesty whether the recent ASARCO court settlement will "in any way relieve the state of Idaho's taxpayers." Hardesty's response: "Unfortunately no." Under the mining firm ASARCO's bankruptcy settlement, Hardesty explained, Idaho will receive two sums: $1.9…

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Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Director Toni Hardesty tells lawmakers on Tuesday that the budget request for DEQ for next year will be the lowest state funding level in a decade, though the agency has taken on additional duties. Layoffs, furloughs and cuts in services have resulted, she said. (Betsy Russell)

How budget cuts have hit DEQ...

The impacts of budget cuts on the state Department of Environmental Quality have included layoffs, furloughs, holding positions vacant, and cutting back or eliminating programs, Director Toni Hardesty told JFAC this morning. "It is just not possible to absorb these cuts without some level of…

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Idaho Secretary of State presents "a pretty bare-bones budget" for his office to legislative budget writers on Tuesday. He's proposing trimming costs further by not sending a pamphlet to voters about constitutional amendments that are on the ballot; Idaho had been scheduled to do that next fall for the first time. (Betsy Russell)

'A pretty bare-bones budget'

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is proposing a possible savings in his budget from the $370,000 that the state expects to spend next fall on voter notification for the general election. Ysursa said Idaho has a new law requiring a pamphlet to go to…

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'A good man and a fair man'

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa noted this morning that he's coming before JFAC for his budget hearing today on the day of the funeral for Atwell Parry, the former senator and JFAC co-chair from Melba who died on Friday. "He was a good man…

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MONDAY, FEB. 1, 2010


Who's supporting whom in 1st CD...

Click below to read a full report from AP reporter John Miller on the latest campaign finance reports in the 1st Congressional District race; they show that U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick has outraised his GOP rivals combined, and offer a look at who's supporting which…

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The plan for self-supporting parks... 

Here's a link to my full story on the parks budget presented today by state Parks Director Nancy Merrill, which calls for a $5 million cut in state funding next year. She says Idaho's park system can move toward self-sufficiency by following a new "business…

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Graffiti bill held for two weeks

When it came time for the House Judiciary Committee this afternoon to take up HB 420, the bill from Rep. Carlos Bilbao to make graffiti a felony, committee Chairman Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, said, "Theyre going to have to have some amendments and they can't…

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Eddie Trout from "Partners for Clean Water" visits the state Capitol on Monday as part of the Idaho Children and Nature Network's "Be Outside" celebration, aimed at fighting "nature deficit disorder" among kids and getting them back outside. (Betsy Russell)

Event encourages kids to play outside 

Eddie Trout, from "Partners for Clean Water," visits the state Capitol today as part of a "Be Outside" celebration by the Idaho Children and Nature Network. There are displays, kids, a storyteller and more in the fourth floor rotunda as part of the event, and…

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Schroeder pulls Panhandle bill from agenda

Sen. Gary Schroeder's resolution to overturn a Panhandle Health District rule on behalf of a Pullman, Wash. resident whose new Lake Coeur d'Alene cabin doesn't meet sewage requirements had been up for a hearing this afternoon in the Senate Health & Welfare Committee, but now…

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Eye On Boise

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



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