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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 2010

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20, 2010

Revenue panel meets this afternoon

The Joint Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee will meet at 2 p.m. today in the large auditorium in the west underground wing of the Capitol to finalize its report to the Legislature on revenue levels on which to base the state budget. The meeting…

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Idaho Health & Welfare division administrator Kathleen Allyn describes the impact of budget cuts on various Health & Welfare programs. (Betsy Russell)

Trimming services for the vulnerable... 

This morning, legislative budget writers are in the second of three days of hearings on the Department of Health & Welfare budget, with today's focus on mental health and substance abuse services, psychiatric hospitalization, child welfare and developmental disabilities - all areas where budget cuts…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 19, 2010

Labrador raised $30K in December 

State Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, who's running in the GOP primary for the 1st District congressional seat, has announced that he raised $30,000 in December, bringing his campaign warchest to a total of $80,000. That's because he also put in $50,000 of his own money,…

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JFAC members wrestle with H&W cuts

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, asked Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong whether he'd considered cutting department employees' salaries and benefits. "Have you done an analysis for your department about salary reduction, and how that might save front-line services?" she asked. Armstrong said furloughs already reduce…

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Idaho Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong tells the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Tuesday morning that budget cuts are having such severe impacts on his department, at a time of soaring caseloads, that he can no longer accomplish "good public policy" in implementing the cuts. (Betsy Russell)

'Can no longer guarantee good public policy'

Budget cuts have had severe impact at the state Department of Health & Welfare, Director Dick Armstrong told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning. Much of Health & Welfare consists of programs in which the federal government provides matching money tied to state spending; in…

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MONDAY, JAN. 18, 2010

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna addresses a charter school rally on the Capitol steps on Monday afternoon. (Courtesy photo / Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families)

The case of the missing P.A.... 

Amid all the hubbub in the Capitol today, the Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families had to hold its rally on the Statehouse steps - with 550 kids and parents in attendance - without any amplification, because the state-owned P.A. system it planned to use…

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Onlookers fill the state Capitol rotunda for Idaho's official Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day ceremony on Monday. (Betsy Russell)

'It's people being peaceful' 

The Capitol is filled with people - parents and children watching from every floor of the rotunda at the state's official Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day ceremony; high school and college students, some of whom took part in rallies earlier; older folks who…

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Dems decide to close caucuses 

Idaho's House and Senate minority caucuses have voted to close their meetings to the public, after having them open to the public for nearly a decade while GOP caucuses remained closed. "This change is effective immediately," according to a press release from Democratic leadership. "If…

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Legislative Services Director Jeff Youtz makes his budget presentation to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, the first of an array of hearings on state agency budgets that are showing the results of recent budget cuts. Under Gov. Butch Otter's budget proposal, more cuts lie ahead both this year and next. (Betsy Russell)

The results of budget cuts...

JFAC has started budget hearings for state agencies with the Legislative Services Office. It's the first of an array of hearings that will reveal how budget cuts have translated into changes on the ground in agencies throughout state government; also up today are the state…

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Another approach to exemptions... 

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, has drafted legislation calling for setting up a state commission that would review all Idaho state sales tax exemptions one or more times every eight years, and report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature, including whether each one should be…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 15, 2010

The week that was...

Here's a link to the first 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. Tonight on Idaho Public Television's Idaho…

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MLK Day events include Tea Party? 

Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter will present an official state proclamation Monday at the state's Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day celebration, which will begin Monday at noon on the second floor of the Idaho State Capitol, in the rotunda. The…

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State board OKs 'Race to the Top'

The Idaho State Board of Education, in a special meeting, has voted unanimously, 7-0, to approve the state's application for "Race to the Top" federal grant funds. State Schools Supt. Tom Luna proposed the grant application, which includes a pilot program on teacher incentive pay,…

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House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, is worried about a proposal to have cash-strapped school districts borrow against their budgets for next year to make it through this year. (Betsy Russell)

School borrowing plan raises doubts

The deal struck between Gov. Butch Otter, House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes - to hit public schools with a new budget holdback but let districts that can't come up with their share of the $27.9 million in cuts borrow from…

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Eye On Boise

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

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