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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 2010

MONDAY, JAN. 25, 2010


Minnick: No earmarks in 2010

Idaho Rep. Walt Minnick has announced that he'll refrain from seeking any earmarks in Congress in 2010, just as he did in 2009. He's the only one in Idaho's four-member congressional delegation who refrains from the earmark process, which lawmakers use to send federal money…

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Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d'Alene, left, talks with anti-hunger activists at "Idaho Hunger Awareness Day" in the Statehouse rotunda on Monday. Fifteen anti-hunger groups from around the state came to hold displays and talk about how Idaho can fight hunger. (Betsy Russell)

Fighting hunger with lunch...

Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d'Alene, talks with members of the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force at "Idaho Hunger Awareness Day" in the fourth-floor Statehouse rotunda today; fifteen hunger relief and nutrition groups from around the state are presenting displays and information about fighting hunger. They're…

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UI mulls 'scaled' furlough

To cope with additional budget cuts that loom this year, University of Idaho President Duane Nellis says the university is "looking seriously at the possibility of a furlough," and is examining a scaled approach, in which lower-paid workers would see less furlough, but higher-paid employees…

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John Hammel, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho, tells legislative budget writers Monday that more cuts in extension funding are coming. (Betsy Russell)

Dean: Farmers support schools through taxes

John Hammel, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho, said deep cuts loom in extension funding. Responding to a question from Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, however, he bristled at a contention in a recent Lewiston Tribune editorial that…

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Nellis: 'How slim a margin we have'

Legislative budget writers were very keen this morning to ask about the University of Idaho's net asset balances, which reports show at $38 million to $40 million. "How much of that unrestricted assets could be used in economic difficulties like we're in now, in order…

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Rep. Clark announces upcoming retirement 

Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, has announced that he'll retire after this year, after serving 14 years in the state House of Representatives. Clark, who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he feels he's accomplished his goals. Seven years ago, in 2003,…

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Paul Agidius, president of the State Board of Education, addresses JFAC on Monday morning, kicking off a week of education budget hearings. Agidius said colleges and universities may have to furlough professors. (Betsy Russell)

State Ed Board: Cuts hurt

Paul Agidius, president of the State Board of Education, is kicking off a week of education budget hearings by addressing JFAC on behalf of the board. His pitch: Cuts hurt, more will hurt more, and education can help lead the state out of the recession.…

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SUNDAY, JAN. 24, 2010

The hidden costs of budget cuts... 

Idaho is discovering the hidden costs of budget cuts, as major cutbacks in the state budget threaten to cost more than they'll save. One example: The $1.6 million the state would save by cutting off funding for Idaho Public Television may be less than the…

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SATURDAY, JAN. 23, 2010

The week that was...

Here’s a link to the second week of Idaho’s legislative session in pictures, as a slide show. Let your cursor hover over the bottom part of the picture frame, and the captions will appear as the slide show plays. Also, on Idaho Public Television’s "Idaho…

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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.



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