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Eye On Boise archive for July 27, 2010

TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010

Allred: 'Raising gas tax is wrong' 

Keith Allred, the Democratic candidate for governor, said the state's new highway cost allocation study, released today, validates his longstanding criticism that current Gov. Butch Otter has been favoring "special interests" over Idaho citizens, particularly when the governor proposed a big car registration fee increase…

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Consultants Patrick Balducci, standing, and Joseph Stowers tell the Idaho governor's transportation funding task force on Tuesday how much more damage heavy trucks do to pavement than cars. (Betsy Russell)

Trucks vs. cars on pavement damage 

Consultant Patrick Balducci of Battelle Group told the governor's transportation funding task force just now that axle weights matter, not just total weight of a truck compared to total weight of a car, when calculating impact on pavement damage. But, under questioning from committee members,…

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Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, right, presides over the governor's transportation funding task force on Tuesday. At left is House Transportation Chairwoman JoAn Wood, R-Rigby; at center is Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell. (Betsy Russell)

Little: 'We really do need this' 

Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who is chairing the governor's transportation funding task force, says it could well be that a gas tax hike - which Gov. Butch Otter failed to convince state lawmakers to impose despite two years of pleas - could end up being…

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Task force member: 'We're way behind'

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, who serves on Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force, had this thought on the task force members' overwhelmingly ranking a gas tax increase as the top potential funding source for road fixes in Idaho: "This was the first cut of…

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Medicaid fraud lands provider behind bars

A personal care provider in Bonners Ferry has received a five-year prison term and a $5,000 fine for Medicaid provider fraud, though a 1st District judge suspended the sentence and ordered Coral Mouser to serve 45 days in jail and pay $12,465 in restitution to…

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Gas tax hike top choice of task force members 

The governor's transportation task force, after its last meeting, asked all 14 of its members to rank the various potential funding sources for transportation in Idaho on everything from fairness to public acceptance, and the results show a fuel tax increase came out on top.…

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Hart scheduled to testify to ethics committee

The House Ethics Committee has released its agenda for its Thursday meeting regarding Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol; you can see it here. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the state Capitol with discussion of constitutional provisions and House rules, then include a review…

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Toll roads for Idaho?

The hottest topic among states seeking transportation funding is imposing tolls on interstate freeways, consultant David Hartgen told the governor's transportation task force this morning. It's currently not allowed outside of demonstration projects, but he said he wouldn't be surprised to see it permitted to…

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Road funding: 'A widening gap'

Transportation consultant David Hartgen said he doesn't think Idaho's revenues for transportation will get much higher than 3 percent annual growth, given current funding sources, and they could drop well below that "if economic circumstances don't turn around." The result: A "widening gap" by the…

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David Hartgen, a transportation consultant and twin brother of Idaho Rep. Stephen Hartgen, addresses the governor's transportation task force on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell)

'Guess we do sort of look alike'

As the governor's transportation task force opened its all-day meeting this morning, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the panel's chairman, warned members that they were about to have "an out of body experience" with the first speaker, David Hartgen. The reason: He's the twin brother of…

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Eye On Boise

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