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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 25, 2011

TUESDAY, JAN. 25, 2011

Luna reform bills on the way...

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, just announced that two bills that are part of state schools Supt. Tom Luna's sweeping education reform plan will be posted on the superintendent's website on Thursday "to give interested parties opportunities to read the bills." Then,…

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Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little briefs the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday on the findings of the governor's transportation funding task force. Little said the findings included $543 million in road needs, but no way to fund them now. If Idaho can't keep up its road system, he said, it'll have to start abandoning parts of it. (Betsy Russell)

Little: Fix roads or abandon them 

Lt. Gov. Brad Little reported to the Senate Transportation Committee today on the findings of the governor's transportation funding task force, which concluded that Idaho's roads and bridges need $543 million worth of work, but that no funding increases should be proposed now in the…

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Pharmacy board won't act on complaint 

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Board of Pharmacy says it has no basis to start proceedings against Walgreens in a complaint that alleged one of the drug store's pharmacists in Nampa improperly refused to fill a…

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Business lobbyist Alex LaBeau speaks at a press conference releasing a poll his group says shows public support in Idaho for megaloads on U.S. Highway 12; lawmakers joining him at the press conference and endorsing the megaloads included the House and Senate transportation committee chairs. (Betsy Russell)

Biz group says poll shows megaloads support 

"Drive Our Economy," a business group in Idaho and Montana that backs megaload shipments on U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho, released a poll today that it says shows Idahoans back the megaloads too, including those who live near the route. "A similar poll was…

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Idaho ranks last for doctors

Idaho ranks last in the nation for the number of physicians per capita, Dr. Ted Epperly told JFAC this morning, and is tied for last in the number of primary-care physicians. That's part of the reason the state sponsors programs like the Family Medicine Residency…

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Lawmakers differ on university reserves

Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, told ISU President Arthur Vailas, "I am concerned that the unrestricted, unallocated net assets for the universities are as low as they are," and Vailas said, "I have the same concerns you do." Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, said he looks…

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Vailas: 'It's been very painful'

ISU President Arthur Vailas said when he arrived at the university, it had hardly any reserves, which lawmakers made clear to him was unacceptable. It now has $7.6 million in net unrestricted assets, he said, though that is only 3.7 percent of its prior year…

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Dr. Arthur Vailas, president of Idaho State University, tells the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that he understands the state is challenged when it comes to funding; the cuts have been felt at ISU, he said. (Betsy Russell)

Vailas: 'We realize we are challenged as a state'

Dr. Arthur Vailas, president of Idaho State University, told JFAC this morning that ISU has achieved a high honor, achieving "research university-high" status from the Carnegie Foundation. It was one of very few public universities nationally to increase its status this year, he noted. ISU…

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Lawmakers: Turn support into dollars

Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, told IPTV general manager Peter Morrill, "This committee got a lot of emails in support of Public TV last year. My question is, if each one of those emails came with a financial contribution you would be in much different financial…

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The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee hears the budget request for Idaho Public Television on Tuesday morning, presented by general manager Peter Morrill. (Betsy Russell)

IPTV winning awards despite funding crunch

Peter Morrill, general manager of Idaho Public Television, told lawmakers this morning that broadcast television actually is drawing more viewership these days: People are watching an average of 35 hours a week of broadcast TV, but just 20 minutes of online video. He also noted…

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Eye On Boise

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