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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 2011

FRIDAY, JAN. 28, 2011

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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Dentists: Proposed changes would cost state more

Steve Bruce, a dentist from Boise, cautioned strongly against eliminating non-emergency dental care services for adults on Medicaid. That may not save money, he said, as relatively inexpensive routine dental-care visits are foregone and the patients instead end up with expensive emergency room visits when…

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Testimony: 'I was a dysfunctional mess'

Mark Reinhardt of Boise, an aspiring young journalist, was the first to testify to JFAC this morning. He said, "I rise in opposition to elimination and/or cuts to DDA or PSR services," which include services to people with developmental disabilities. Without those services, Reinhardt said,…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 27, 2011

Two draft bills released on Luna reform plan

It's definitely not light reading, but State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna has posted on his website draft versions of two bills to implement his sweeping school reform plan. The first one, entitled "Modernization and Reform," is 91 pages; the second, entitled "Labor and Entitlements,"…

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House GOP leaders raise budget concerns 

AP reporter John Miller reports on new concerns House Republicans leaders are raising over the state's budget challenges: That the impact of conforming Idaho's tax code to new federal rules could cost Idaho's state coffers $70 million over the next two years, while sales tax…

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Eye On Boise

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

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