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Eye On Boise archive for March 30, 2011

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2011


Emissions bill passes House

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Drivers who fall out of compliance with auto emission testing rules could get their vehicle registrations reinstated at no cost, under legislation advancing in the 2011 session. The Idaho House voted 57-10 on…

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The slowdown showdown...

Here's a link to my full story at spokesman.com on how action in the Idaho House slowed to a near-standstill today, as House Democrats made good on the threat they issued a day earlier to use whatever means they have available to stall the session…

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Senate takes up primary election bill

The Senate has just suspended its rules and taken up SB 1198, the primary election bill. It just came out of committee this morning on a party-line vote; the bill would give Idaho its first-ever voter registration by party, and would allow parties to prevent…

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House GOP leaders hold a press conference Wednesday to announce that they'll work into the weekend rather than comply with House Democrats' demand to hold hearings on two as-yet unheard bills; the Democrats have forced full reading of bills in the House in protest, slowing the legislative process to a crawl even as lawmakers pushed toward a hoped-for adjournment next week.. (Betsy Russell)

GOP leaders: 'We'll work into the weekend' 

House Republican leaders held a press conference this afternoon to decry House Democrats' stalling tactics in protest of the lack of hearings for two bills they want heard. "Republican legislators have kept their promise to balance the budget without raising taxes this year," declared House…

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Wind energy rebate back on track

Wind energy developers with projects nearing completion are closer to winning tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks, the Associated Press reports, after the House Rev & Tax Committee voted today to send a bill backed by Idaho Power Co. and other utilities to…

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House Minority Leader John Rusche, left, and Minority Caucus Chair Brian Cronin, right, discuss the Democrats' stalling tactics that forced an hour-long reading of a 25-page bill in the House on Wednesday. The minority wants hearings on two bills, a cigarette tax hike and an advisory vote on school reforms, but the majority has refused. (Betsy Russell)

Rusche: 'A perversion of the process' 

House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said, "There's not a lot of ways we can bring protests to the system up in front of everyone." Forcing full reading of bills, as required by the Idaho Constitution, is one of them, he said. Rusche said House…

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House Speaker Lawerence Denney talks about Democratic protests that bogged down action in the House on Wednesday, bringing it to a near-standstill (Betsy Russell)

An Idaho Statehouse showdown... 

It's an Idaho Statehouse showdown: Despite spending practically the entire morning House session reading one bill, House Speaker Lawerence Denney says he's still not inclined to allow hearings on two bills that minority Democrats want heard, a cigarette tax hike and an advisory vote on…

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House Chief Clerk Bonnie Alexander reads the full text of a 25-page bill on catastrophic health care on Wednesday, after House Democrats made good on their threat to slow down House action until majority Republicans allow a hearing on two bills the Dems support: A $1.25 cigarette tax increase, and a measure calling for an advisory vote of the people on this year's school reforms. (Betsy Russell)

Legislative action comes to a standstill... 

Action in the Idaho House has come to a standstill, as House Democrats made good on their threat yesterday to use whatever means they have available to slow down the session in protest until majority Republicans allow hearings on two bills the Democrats want heard:…

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KTEC bill passes Senate, goes to governor

HB 236, the bill to allow the Kootenai Technical Education Campus, a joint project of three North Idaho school districts, to start construction a year earlier by lifting a requirement to wait until all money from a tax levy has been collected first, has passed…

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Grant: 'A Republican intramural fight'

Larry Grant, chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, told senators, "The Idaho Democratic Party believes in open primaries. ... This is essentially a Republican intramural fight." He said, "We as Democrats would prefer you spend your time on something other than what I see as…

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Gary Allen, attorney for a group of independent Idaho voters, testifies against the new primary election bill in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday morning. (Betsy Russell)

'Poke independent voters in the eye' 12 

Gary Allen, attorney for a group of independent voters, told the Senate State Affairs Committee, "I'm here on my 50th birthday, and I can't think of any better way to spend it than talking about democracy." He said he and his clients disagree with the…

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Eye On Boise

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