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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 28, 2011

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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Lawmakers listen as Shiloh Blackburn of Rexburg testifies at Friday's hearing on Health & Welfare funding; in her wheelchair, she's partially hidden behind the podium. (Betsy Russell)

So far, 43 have testified in two hours

So far, 43 people have testified in two hours to JFAC on Health & Welfare funding this morning, including disabled people who receive services, their advocates, parents and other family members, and numerous providers, ranging from dentists to those who provide psycho-social rehabilitation services to…

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Katherine Hansen delivers 13,470 petitions to lawmakers from Idahoans who want the state to consider a tax increase rather than cutting home and community-based services for people with disabilities. (Betsy Russell)

Testimony: 'Everything needs to be on the table'

Katherine Hansen of Boise presented lawmakers with 13,740 petitions signed by Idahoans calling for lawmakers to consider a tax increase rather than cut home and community-based services for people with disabilities. The signers, she said, are "13,740 Idahoans from every county and every city in…

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Hearing has drawn up to 1,000 to Capitol

Cynthia McCurdy of Rexburg, mother of a daughter with developmental delays and other health problems, told lawmakers, "Please, let's not have another Jeff D lawsuit. That cost us millions." She urged against reducing services for the developmentally disabled, saying without them her daughter's condition will…

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Testimony: 'Idaho will end up paying more'

Michelle Bartlett, a licensed midwife and representative of the Idaho Midwifery Council, told JFAC that the state could save $130,000 per year by funding births attended by midwives, rather than in hospitals. That could be part of the solution, she said. Robert Vande Merwe told…

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Eye On Boise

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