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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 2011

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 2, 2011




Workers make final preparations Tuesday night Feb. 1, 2011 on the ConocoPhillips' large drum shaped refinery equipment bound for Billings, Mont. The first of four oversized loads has left Lewiston, Idaho late Tuesday. It is the first of what environmentalists fear could be hundreds of truckloads moving along a federally protected route once crossed by Lewis and Clark.  (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune / Barry Kough)

First megaload rolls on Highway 12 

A giant truckload of oil refinery equipment began its lumbering journey late Tuesday onto scenic U.S. Highway 12, the AP reports; ConocoPhillips spokesman Bill Stephens said Tuesday night that the journey "went off just as planned." Click below for a full report from AP reporter…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 1, 2011

AP: POST vote sends strident message

Tuesday morning's House vote to kill a small fee hike on offenders sought by the Idaho state police academy "might just be the first big 'no new taxes or fees' vote of the 2011 session," writes AP reporter John Miller. "The 'no' vote on a…

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Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, proposes legislation Tuesday to permanently ban "spice," a synthetic drug that mimics the effects of marijuana. The House Judiciary Committee, which Wills chairs, agreed unanimously to introduce the bill. (Betsy Russell)

Bill would permanently ban 'spice'

The House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously this afternoon to introduce legislation to permanently ban the chemical components that make up "spice," a synthetic drug similar in effect to marijuana that previously was legal and sold in stores in Idaho. The Otter Administration earlier this year…

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Wills: 'It's damaging to law enforcement' 

Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, a retired longtime state trooper and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he was "very disappointed" with today's House vote to reject a $1.50 fee increase on offenders to help fund law enforcement training. "I think a lot…

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Perry: 'It's going to set a tone' 

Idaho state Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, was sponsoring her first bill in the House today when the measure, HB 26, failed on a 31-35 vote after an intense debate. "I thought it was a great debate," Perry said afterward, as other lawmakers - many of…

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House Speaker Lawerence Denney presides over the House on Tuesday, which rejected, on a 31-35 vote, legislation to raise a $10 fee on offenders to support the state's POST academy to $11.50; all members of House GOP leadership opposed the bill, which Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts argued opened the door to fee increases to offset budget cuts. (Betsy Russell)

House votes down POST fee increase

The Idaho House has voted down a proposed $1.50 increase in fees for the POST academy, where Idaho's police officers are trained, from $10 to $11.50. The fee increase, proposed by the Idaho State Police in HB 26, failed on a 31-35 vote after intense…

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UI tuition bill passes House, 60-5

Since Idaho voters passed HJR 101 in November, eliminating a 120-year-old prohibition on charging tuition at the University of Idaho (UI has instead charged only "fees"), Idaho lawmakers now are moving legislation to match state laws to the constitutional change. HB 20 would permit tuition…

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Idaho Fish & Game Director Cal Groen tells legislative budget writers on Tuesday morning that people who buy hunting and fishing licenses are bearing most of the burden of funding his department; he wants others who benefit to pay, too. (Betsy Russell)

F&G chief: All who play should pay 

Idaho's state Fish & Game Department faces various challenges, from federal mandates to funding, Director Cal Groen told JFAC this morning. "Being a user-fee organization, we have many, many people that are benefiting that are not paying," he said. Among highlights in the past year,…

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Rev & Tax kills Sen. Goedde's KTEC bill 

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers killed a bill that would have expedited plans for a professional-technical high school in northern Idaho and allowed construction to begin before the money was collected from taxpayers. The legislation failed to…

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The YMCA offers displays in the fourth-floor rotunda of the state Capitol on Thursday, highlighting everything from sports and weight-loss to children's programs and programs for cancer survivors (Betsy Russell)

YMCA offers rotunda displays

The YMCA has displays in the fourth-floor rotunda of the state capitol today, highlighting everything from sports and children's programs to weight-loss and programs for cancer survivors. Among the displays: Some historic letters home from Y camp.

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Lands: Budget cuts mean some fires grow

Idaho state Department of Lands Director George Bacon gave his budget presentation to lawmakers this morning, and said, "The department has tried very hard not to cut our fire program." Still, budget cuts have forced some layoffs, and forced the department to hire on some…

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Idaho state parks Director Nancy Merrill tells lawmakers how parks are coping with deep budget cuts, during her budget presentation on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell)

Parks: 'We're going to bleed'

Idaho's state parks system is still going despite funding cuts, Director Nancy Merrill told JFAC this morning. "We did see successes," she said. "Our visitors recognized the efforts that were being done to keep all these parks open with lack of staff and lack of…

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Eye On Boise

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



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