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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 24, 2011

MONDAY, JAN. 24, 2011

The proposed "Fly Idaho" specialty plate. Sponsors may move the slogan up to the top, and add at the bottom, "Pilot's Paradise." Legislation for the new specialty plate was introduced Monday; it'd be Idahoans' 75th option for special plates, including some that are just for certain groups, such as Medal of Honor winners or members of the Legislature. (Betsy Russell)

Newest idea for specialty plate: 'Fly Idaho'

Idaho already has more than 75 options for special license plates, from breast cancer awareness to snow skier to historic preservation to "Support Our Troops." Today, legislation was introduced to add another one, to benefit the Idaho Aviation Foundation. Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, who is…

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State Parks Director Nancy Merrill, addressing the Senate Resources Committee on Monday, defends her agency's decision to send 32,000 letters to registered North Idaho boaters about the possible closure of the Third Street boat launch in Coeur d'Alene. City officials were concerned about the move and complained to local legislators. (Betsy Russell)

Merrill: State took no position 

Idaho state parks Director Nancy Merrill told the Senate Resources Committee today that when her agency sent 32,000 letters out to registered boat owners in North Idaho about the possible closure of the 3rd Street boat launch in Coeur d'Alene, it was following state law,…

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Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, co-chair of JFAC, tells University of Idaho President Duane Nellis on Monday that the university is in better position with its reserves than the state as a whole. Bell suggested those reserves might have to be tapped further, though Nellis said they've already been "eroded." (Betsy Russell)

University funding and reserves...

Here's a link to our full story at on today's budget discussions about the University of Idaho, and talk among lawmakers about use of reserves at the state's colleges and universities. "Frankly, your money looks better to me than mine does at this point,"…

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Displays in the 4th floor rotunda of the state Capitol on Monday highlight Boise State University programs, in a week when higher education budgets are up for hearings in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. (Betsy Russell)

Capitol displays highlight BSU programs

Today is Boise State University day in the 4th floor of the Capitol rotunda, with lots of displays, giveaways, and folks eager to tell lawmakers and others what they do in programs ranging from energy to health. Also this week, University of Idaho Day is…

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Nellis: Short-term cuts 'not sustainable'

The University of Idaho implemented a "strategic hiring freeze" in fiscal year 2009. It's now down 44 regular faculty and 36 staff positions, not including changes in part-timers; the total reduction in full-time equivalent employees from the general education budget is 136. Add in 73…

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UI's budget relies on variety of sources

Of the University of Idaho's total operating budget for the current year of $453 million, only 23 percent - $104 million - comes from the state general fund. That includes general education, agricultural research and extension, medical education and special programs. Grants, contracts and federal…

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Interim LCSC President Tony Fernandez addresses the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Monday morning. He said the Lewiston college's enrollment has soared 68 percent since 2000, but budget cuts now are taking their toll, in part by making it harder for students to get into the classes they need. (Betsy Russell)

Budget cuts take toll at LCSC, prez says

Though Lewis-Clark State College enrollment has been soaring, budget cuts are taking their toll, interim President Tony Fernandez told legislative budget writers this morning. Already, certain highly sought after classes, like microbiology, have had enrollment caps, making it harder for students to get into sections…

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LCSC enrollment has grown 68% since 2000

Lewis-Clark State College has seen its total student enrollment rise 68 percent since 2000, interim President Tony Fernandez told JFAC this morning. "We think that our enrollment increases in the last few years show that we continue to be a successful higher-education enterprise for the…

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Eye On Boise

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