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Tuesday, August 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Otter signs school budget bills

Gov. Butch Otter today signed into law all seven bills that make up the public school budget, and also signed into law the budgets that state lawmakers passed for Medicaid, parks, community colleges, career-technical education, the Department of Agriculture, and the Wolf Control Depredation Board. Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise reports ...

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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2012

EOB: Legislature Adjournment Nears 

The Senate has adjourned for the day, and Senate Republicans have headed into a closed-door caucus. The Senate will convene at 9 a.m. tomorrow, as will the House. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said the Senate will work through the morning and finish...

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May Is On The Way

Idaho's political round Is clearly closed-primary bound. When hot-button issues Mean get out the tissues It's lawmaking in ultrasound. Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise (More here) (AP photo: Vote tally board on pre-abortion ultrasound issue in Virginia on Feb. 28)

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MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2012

Boise Rdp: Harwood Thanks Smokers 

Update: The House Rev & Tax Committee has voted 11-5 against introducing or allowing a full hearing on the bill to increase Idaho's cigarette tax. Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, said, “The smokers, I want to thank them for this building we're in,” noting that...

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MONDAY, FEB. 6, 2012

EOB: Of Ogres & Tax Credits 

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, sponsored legislation in the House today to add Special Needs Recreation of Coeur d'Alene to the list of charities and youth rehab organizations to which donations are eligible for a tax credit. Nonini praised the group, which provides recreational opportunities...

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MONDAY, AUG. 30, 2010

EOB: Court Expedites Big Rig Appeal 

The Idaho Transportation Department has joined ConocoPhillips in appealing to the Idaho Supreme Court a local judge’s decision to revoke its permits for four huge truckloads of oil refinery equipment to travel winding U.S. Highway 12 from Lewiston to Montana, saying the decision could “end...

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MONDAY, JULY 12, 2010

GOP Confab: 'Inspiring'? Or 'Radical'? 

It’s hard to imagine two more different takes on the outcome of the recent Idaho Republican Party convention than those in statements issued by state GOP Chairman Norm Semanko and Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark – from “positive and inspiring” to “astounding” and “radical”/Betsy...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2010

EOB: Hart Welcomes Ethics Investigation 

Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart on Friday defended his long tax fight against the IRS and the state Tax Commission, and said he looks forward to telling his tale to a House ethics committee. ”I would welcome the opportunity to tell my story,” said Hart,...

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Forecast: Idaho On Way To Recovery 

Idaho is on track for an economic recovery in 2011, according to the state’s latest official forecast - though state lawmakers and the governor set a pessimistic budget for 2011 that requires historic cuts in education. The newest state forecast, issued in May, says, “Idaho’s...

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FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2010

Betsy: Ward, Labrador Tangle On TV 15 

"Wow," posts colleague Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise, "on tonight’s 'Idaho Reports' program on Idaho Public Television - the last show of the season - 1st District GOP congressional candidates Vaughn Ward and Raul Labrador appear together and take questions from a panel on which I...

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Allred Pitches Health Care Alternative 

Keith Allred, Democratic candidate for governor of Idaho, today said he has a different plan from current GOP Gov. Butch Otter’s lawsuit challenging federal health care reform: He said if elected governor, he’d take advantage of a clause in the new law that lets states...

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TUESDAY, AUG. 11, 2009

EOB: Idaho Last In Patrol Funding 

Col. Jerry Russell, chief of the Idaho State Police, just presented stats to lawmakers in response to questions last month about the ISP’s staffing. When compared to the six surrounding states - Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Oregon - Idaho ranks dead last for...

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EOB: Otter Back In The Saddle

Gov. Butch Otter is out on a three-day trail ride along the Idaho-Nevada border, along with Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, legislators and federal and state officials. It’s an annual tradition for Otter, who started the rides as a congressman to discuss resource issues and see...

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Forbes: Spokane Is US 'Scam Capital' 13 

And Forbes magazine, apparently unimpressed with the official “Near nature, near perfect” city slogan in Spokane, today pronounced the Lilac City the “Scam Capital of America.” From writer William Barrett’s story: Welcome to Spokane, Wash., a metropolitan object lesson in what can befall the unwary...

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Nonini 'Golden Parachute' Bill Wins OK 

The House Ways & Means Committee has voted 4-3 in three straight party-line votes to introduce three new bills: A compromise on election consolidation, with the state covering school district and local government costs; a concurrent resolution calling for an interim committee to study transportation...

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Panel OKs Day-Care Regs ... Finally 

Today marked the first time - in five straight years of trying - that the day care licensing bill has made it out of committee and to the full chamber in either house. “That’s a breakthough of sorts,” said Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene. The...

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EOB: Boaters Face Sticker Purchase 17 

The threat to Idaho from invasive zebra and quagga mussels is so great, according to Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, that Idaho needs to enact emergency legislation right away to make every boat owner in the state purchase a sticker that’d help fund wash stations...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 27, 2009

EOB: Idaho Able To Fix Dover Bridge

It appears that Idaho will be able to replace the Dover Bridge in North Idaho, purchase a much-needed maintenance management software system for the Idaho Transportation Department, and pour millions into fixing roads statewide with federal stimulus funds, state lawmakers heard this morning. But there...

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MONDAY, FEB. 23, 2009

EOB: Booze Tax Hike Bill Fills Room 17 

It’s standing-room only at the hearing this morning on legislation to raise Idaho’s beer and wine taxes - unchanged for the past four decades - to fund substance abuse treatment. “This increase is pocket change for the vast majority of responsible drinkers,” sponsor Keith Allred...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 19, 2009

Eye On Boise: Privatize Prisons?

Senate Judiciary Chairman Denton Darrington, R-Declo, told the Joint Finance-Appropriations committee this morning, “I think there is a limit to how far we ought to go with our prison beds being in private hands.” Even big prison states like Texas are at about 35 percent...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 18, 2009

EOB: No Mouse Preservation In S.F. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office says there is no truth to Idaho Sen. Jim Risch’s contention today that the federal stimulus package contains $50 million to save the “red-breasted harvest mouse” in Pelosi’s California district. Drew Hammill, spokesman for Pelosi, called the story about the...

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MONDAY, FEB. 16, 2009

EOB: Panel OKs Beer, Wine Tax Hike 15 

It was a close 10-8 vote, but the House Revenue & Taxation Committee has agreed to introduce legislation that would hike Idaho’s beer and wine taxes - which haven’t been increased in more than 40 years - more than threefold to provide a stable funding...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 13, 2009

Nonini: Santa Obama Saves Idaho Ed 11 

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, now says his controversial bills to make permanent cuts in laws governing school funding and teacher contracts may not be needed at all, what with big money coming Idaho’s way from the federal stimulus package. “It looks like Idaho could...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 11, 2009

Legislature Has A Woman's Touch 

Here’s a surprise: Idaho actually has more women legislators than the national average. Even though just 25 percent of Idaho’s legislative seats are held by women - eight of 35 in the Senate and 18 of 70 in the House - the figure’s even lower...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 5, 2009

Lawmakers Mull Election Consolidation 

This year’s version (of the election consolidation bill) is 89 pages long, plus another separate bill on funding that’s a mere eight pages. The aim: Reform Idaho’s election system so that all local elections, whether they’re for city, county, sewer district, cemetery district, school board...

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.