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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 2011

MONDAY, JAN. 31, 2011

Report: Privatizing liquor feasible in Idaho

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee has just released a new state-commissioned feasibility study on privatizing liquor sales in Idaho. The study, requested by Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, has been in the works since last March. Among the results: Privatization is feasible, but if Idaho were…

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Thayn wants to amend early-grad program 

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A lawmaker who spearheaded a program to reward Idaho students who graduate from high school early with scholarship money says he no longer wants to limit district participation by size or region. Rep.…

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Grant would add spaces at vets' cemetery

One bright spot in an array of down budgets is at Idaho's Veterans Services Division, though it's not in the agency's state funding, which has dropped by 50 percent in recent years. Instead, it's a federal grant: $5 million to expand the Idaho Veterans Cemetery…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 28, 2011

From left, Betsy Russell, Jim Weatherby, Brian Murphy and host Greg Hahn on Idaho Public Television's "Idaho Reports," 1/28/11 (Kevin Televs)

The week that was...

On tonight's “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public TV, I join new host Greg Hahn, Jim Weatherby and Brian Murphy to discuss the events of the week, including the historic public hearing that JFAC held today on health and welfare funding, drawing nearly a thousand people…

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Energy rebate could fall victim to own success

The sales tax rebate that Idaho has been providing to developers of alternative energy projects, including wind farms, may fall victim to its own success, AP reporter John Miller reports. The rebate expires in June, and higher-than-expected claims are giving pause to some state officials,…

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Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, and Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, co-chairs of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, talk with reporters after their four-hour hearing Friday on health and welfare spending. Cameron said it's "extremely painful" to consider cuts in programs for the disabled. (Betsy Russell)

JFAC co-chairs: 'It's extremely painful' 

JFAC Co-Chairs Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, and Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, were clearly affected by the outpouring of input that close to a thousand people brought to the Statehouse today on Health and Welfare funding, with most pleading for the state to avoid cuts in…

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Hearing wraps up after 4 hours 

At noon, after four hours of testimony from 82 people from all over the state, JFAC has closed its public hearing on Health & Welfare funding. "We appreciate your input," said Co-Chair Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. He encouraged those who didn't get a chance to testify…

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Testimony: 'A time to test our character'

Shirleane Abbott of Garden Valley, a psycho-social rehabilitation services provider who survived her own struggles with mental illness, told lawmakers, "What we need is more PSR, not less." Idaho shouldn't go back to relying on hospitalization, she said. "This is really a time to test…

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Testimony: 'Where would you want to be?'

Terri Scarrow of Jerome told of how her 15-year-old daughter, a bright, promising, straight-A student, was hit by a drunk driver and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Now disabled, she lives at home while receiving care, thanks to the certified family home program; Scarrow said…

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Testimony continues; 80 more want to speak

Doug Loertscher of Boise told lawmakers he's testifying in opposition to the "blunt approach," one of two options for cuts that state Health & Welfare officials have outlined to lawmakers, and that calls for eliminating developmental disability center services and psycho-social rehabilitation services. "I personally…

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