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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 22, 2010

FRIDAY, JAN. 22, 2010


House, Senate GOP members caucus

Both the House and Senate Republicans held closed-door caucuses today to talk numbers. The House GOP caucus, which lasted about half an hour, focused on the new revenue recommendation from the Joint Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee, according to Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke,…

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Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said she thinks lawmakers should consider cutting their own health benefits just as the state has cut health benefits for other part-time state employees; lawmakers get full-time benefits, but are considered part-time. (Betsy Russell)

Keough: 'We shouldn't shy away' 

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, says she thinks lawmakers should consider cutting their own health benefits just as the state has cut health coverage for other part-time state employees. "We ought to have that discussion - I don't think we should shy away from it," Keough…

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Don Weilmunster, president of the Idaho Parks Foundation, said he was relieved when Gov. Butch Otter decided not to eliminate the state parks department. The foundation helped coordinate the gift of Harriman State Park to the state in the 1960s; one of the gift's conditions was formation of a professional state parks department. (Betsy Russell)

Weilmunster: 'Not worried any more'

Don Weilmunster, president of the Idaho Parks Foundation, sat off to the side as Gov. Butch Otter and Parks Director Nancy Merrill announced their new plan for state parks - which won't include eliminating the state parks department. Weilmunster said he's relieved. The foundation was…

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Margie Gonzales, executive director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, presents her budget to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday. Gov. Butch Otter is proposing phasing out state funding for the commission over the next four years. (Betsy Russell)

'The only voice this population has'

The Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs was established in 1987 by the Legislature "as an independent entity of state government," Margie Gonzales, executive director, told JFAC at the commission's budget hearing this morning. The commission's core functions are to advise the governor, Legislature and state…

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Former state Sen. Robbie Barrutia, interim director of the State Independent Living Council, talks about the council's accomplishments in a budget hearing Friday morning. The council is among several agencies Gov. Butch Otter has proposed for a four-year phaseout of state funding; the council also receives federal funds. (Betsy Russell)

Independent Living Council cites successes

Former State Sen. Robbie Barrutia, interim director of the State Independent Living Council, is now presenting the budget for that council, which, like the Human Rights Commission, has been proposed by Gov. Butch Otter for a four-year phase-out of state funding. "Idaho is one of…

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Labor: 'We can fit it in'

Chief Deputy Director of the Idaho Department of Labor John McAllister says the Department of Labor has been eyeing two funds, one that comes from penalty and interest payments from employment law violators and can be tapped by the state Board of Examiners, and another…

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Wayne Hammon, Gov. Butch Otter's budget director, talks about the governor's plans to phase out state funding over the next four years for a half-dozen state agencies, including the Idaho Human Rights Commission. (Betsy Russell)

Hearing on agencies facing funds phase-out...

There's a packed house at JFAC this morning, where budget hearings are scheduled for three agencies for which Gov. Butch Otter has proposed phasing out all state general funds over the next four years. Under questioning just now, Wayne Hammon, the governor's budget director, said,…

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Eye On Boise

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