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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 14, 2010

THURSDAY, JAN. 14, 2010

House Republicans caucus over revenues 

The House Majority Caucus went behind closed doors this afternoon for an hour and a half, concerned about the latest state tax revenue figures and their implications on state budgeting. "What would be nice is to have the crystal ball," said House Majority Caucus Chair…

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Idaho transportation officials including Chief Engineer Tom Cole and Deputy Director Scott Stokes make a presentation to a joint meeting of the House and Senate transportation committees. (Betsy Russell)

ITD braces for 'Stimulus II'

At a joint meeting of the House and Senate transportation committees this afternoon, state transportation officials told lawmakers they're scrambling to prepare for what they're calling "Stimulus II," federal legislation also known as the 2010 Jobs Bill that could potentially bring another $182 million to…

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Idaho gets $14M to fight bark beetles

The U.S. Forest Service will get an additional $14 million to battle bark beetles in Idaho, where the bugs have chewed through 1.3 million acres, reports S-R reporter Becky Kramer; you can read her story here at The beetles leave mountainsides covered with red…

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C'dA Basin cleanup ahead of schedule

Cleanup of contaminated residential yards and other properties in the Coeur d'Alene Basin is so far ahead of schedule that state lawmakers today authorized speeding up spending to do even more work this year. "We've been very, very pleased with what the contractors in North…

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Why revenue meeting was canceled...

Here's why the Joint Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee canceled its meeting that was supposed to be today, the meeting at which the panel chooses a revenue figure on which it recommends setting the state budget: They're waiting for the latest state tax revenue…

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Firefighting bill: $7.2 million

JFAC has voted to pay off its first big bill, the $7.2 million left from firefighting in the fiscal year that ended on June 30 of 2009. Last year, the Legislature changed its usual procedure for paying wildfire bills so it knows in advance what…

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Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, speaks out during a Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee hearing on Thursday morning. (Betsy Russell)

Making govt look smaller? 

Legislative budget writers this morning reviewed Gov. Butch Otter's proposal to trim more than 400 positions from the state payroll, most of which already are vacant. Wayne Hammon, Otter's budget chief, presented a report showing a total reduction of 463, including 379 positions that already…

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Eye On Boise

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