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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 2010

MONDAY, FEB. 1, 2010

The Idaho House agrees, by unanimous consent, to send the "Idaho Health Freedom Act" to its amending order on Monday. The bill, which seeks to fight federal health care reform, as written would inadvertently invalidate a 2002 law requiring Idaho state college students to purchase health insurance. That law was passed as part of money-saving Medicaid reforms. (Betsy Russell)

'Health Freedom Act' needs amendment 

HB 391, the "Idaho Health Freedom Act," has just been moved to general orders for amendment by unanimous consent of the House. Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, said the problem is that the bill, as written, would outlaw a requirement lawmakers enacted into state regulations…

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Rep. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, questions whether a plan to increase timber harvest on state endowment lands will actually mean more income for the state, with timber prices so far down and construction depressed. His question came during the state Department of Lands budget hearing on Monday morning. (Betsy Russell)

Would more logging really mean more money? 

The state Department of Lands is proposing to increase its timber harvest on state endowment lands by 35 million board-feet a year, from 212 million board-feet a year to 247. Income to the state endowment would rise by 20.2 percent, Director George Bacon told JFAC.…

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Ferrell: Don't take all state $$ away from parks 

Yvonne Ferrell, who headed Idaho's state parks system for 15 years and served as deputy director of Washington's state parks system for a decade before that, attended the parks budget hearing today and said she supports current Director Nancy Merrill's plan for parks. However, Ferrell…

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How to make parks sustainable?

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, asked how Parks Director Nancy Merrill expects to make Idaho's parks system self-sustaining, when "there are no states that have really been able to create an environment of sustainability." Merrill said it's all in her new business plan for the state…

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Idaho's RV registration fee

Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, asked state Parks Director Nancy Merrill how much the RV registration fund brings in each year. The answer: $3.8 million to $3.9 million. The idea is to tap about half of that fund each year for the next two to five…

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State Parks Director Nancy Merrill presents a much-reduced budget request for state parks to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Monday morning. (Betsy Russell)

Lawmakers hear reduced parks budget pitch 

Nancy Merrill, state parks director, has begun her first budget presentation to JFAC. Her department's budget request has changed significantly from the one first submitted; now, as a result of a deal announced last week by Merrill and Gov. Butch Otter, it calls for cutting…

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Guv's 'signature events' were pricey

Three ceremonies for major highway construction projects on I-84 over the past summer ran up tens of thousands in bills after Gov. Butch Otter's office ordered that they be the governor's "signature events," Idaho Statesman reporter Cynthia Sewell reported Sunday; you can read her full…

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Eye On Boise

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

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