U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth is the only member of Idaho's congressional delegation who won't meet with Idaho's Indian tribes and ignores their concerns, tribal leaders said Monday.
Chenoweth said in a recent interview she's willing to meet with tribes any time. "The only time anyone's number was left, it must've been a car phone or a cellular phone. There never was an answer."
Candidates who run for office all like to have their names listed first on the ballot.
So Idaho taxpayers spend thousands of dollars every election to print up lots of different versions of the ballot, each with the candidates' names in a different order. Kootenai County Clerk Dan English doesn't think that makes much sense.
Just how did it happen that the pet bill of one of the most powerful Republican committee chairmen in the Legislature got killed in the Senate? By one vote?
Rep. Kitty Gurnsey, R-Boise, co-chairman of the Legislature's budget committee, isn't sure. "I was really shocked," she said.
Federal funding is ending for screening lead levels in the blood of Silver Valley children, but a state-administered fund will keep the program going.
Legislative budget writers on Friday approved a request to spend $10,000 from the fund to supplement the last $55,000 in federal funds for the 1996 screening. The screening is conducted each year by the Panhandle Health District.
Three of the four legislators who voted to kill impact fee legislation this week say they'd favor the fees if they included schools.
And one of them, Sen. Stan Hawkins, R-Ucon, has drafted a new bill that some North Idaho officials say they'll support.
Legislation that would let any city or county in Idaho ask voters to impose a local sales tax died in the House Revenue and Taxation Committee Wednesday.
But there was a glimmer of hope for North Idaho.
In hallways, stairways and a cafeteria, Sen. Tim Tucker shuttled between Kootenai tribal officials and Bonners Ferry businessmen Wednesday.
As a result, when a three-hour hearing on the tribe's proposed tax exemption produced lots of emotion but no agreement between the two sides, the Porthill Democrat had a compromise ready.
Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Kootenai County won a small victory Tuesday when a powerful legislative committee agreed to introduce their local sales tax bill.
Lobbyist Chuck Lempesis gave the House Revenue and Taxation Committee a brief outline of the bill, which allows "resort counties" to ask voters to approve a special local sales tax. At least half the proceeds from the tax would go directly to property tax relief.
Two-time convicted rapist Shane McCloskey impregnated his 16-year-old victim, then tried to claim parental rights from prison and prevent the baby from being adopted.
Rep. Jeff Alltus, R-Coeur d'Alene, doesn't want that to happen again. He proposed legislation Monday that would allow parental rights to be terminated in several situations, including rape.
Soon there won't be any paper food stamps. Or welfare checks, either.
Idaho is moving slowly toward a system where aid recipients would be issued a debit card. They'd run that card through an ATM machine at the supermarket to buy food, or through machines elsewhere to cash welfare checks or to buy other items.
Idaho's prison population is growing by 27 inmates every month, thanks in part to stiff sentencing laws.
If nothing changes, the state will need to spend $250 million to double its prison space in the next six years.
Idaho needs to make sure pollution from ASARCO's proposed Rock Creek mine in Montana doesn't damage Lake Pend Oreille, Sen. Tim Tucker argued Friday.
Tucker, D-Porthill, proposed a legislative resolution calling on Gov. Phil Batt to work with Montana Gov. Marc Racicot to guarantee that Pend Oreille doesn't get polluted by the mine that would go in just upstream on the Clark Fork River. The measure would:
Coeur d'Alene's parks, roads and police department have to deal with hordes of tourists all through the summer season.
But the only way the city can pay for those services is with property taxes - which hits local property owners, not tourists.
A law allowing Idaho cities and counties to take on debt without an election would be killed by a bill introduced in the House Wednesday.
A dozen citizens from Sandpoint, Boise, Twin Falls and Jerome urged the House Judiciary and Rules Committee to introduce the legislation, which is being sponsored by Rep. Tom Dorr, R-Post Falls.
A lawmaker from Boise on Tuesday persuaded a House committee to introduce a bill to declare chlorofluorocarbons legal in Idaho.
The compounds, commonly known as CFCs, have been banned throughout the United States because they have been found to damage the Earth's protective ozone layer.
A plan to charge Idaho restaurants $55 a year to pay for better restaurant inspections came in for heavy criticism Monday in the Legislature's budget committee.
"This is a perfect example of creeping government," said Sen. Stan Hawkins, R-Ucon.
It's been a tough couple of weeks for Rep. Tom Dorr.
Dorr, R-Post Falls, introduced his first-ever bill, setting 25 mph speed limits statewide for residential areas. He meant to submit it to a committee, but accidentally got it introduced as a personal bill.
The state Health and Welfare Department is backing away from a memo sent to employees this month that appeared to order them not to visit the Legislature on their own time.
"We certainly don't want to limit a department employee's ability to interact with the Legislature during non-business hours," said department spokesman David Ensunsa.
North Idaho College needs more money to boost instructors' salaries, update library materials and remodel the historic Fort Sherman Officers' Quarters, President Bob Bennett told the Legislature's budget committee Thursday.
But that's not all. The state needs to re-examine how it funds community colleges, in case the third of NIC's budget that comes from property taxes goes away, he said. The One Percent Initiative would eliminate that property tax levy, and other proposals have surfaced in the Legislature this year to reduce it. One would replace some of the money with a liquor tax surcharge.
Outnumbered Senate Democrats unveiled their legislative agenda Wednesday, but Gov. Phil Batt hinted he might block all their bills if the Democrats don't temper their criticism of his nuclear waste agreement.
"It hardly bodes for cooperation when they bring up something purely political to try to embarrass me," Batt said in an interview Wednesday. "If they're going to attack me on a baloney deal, a purely political deal, why should I cooperate with them? The question has merely been posed."
A third of North Idaho College's budget is under attack, and the Idaho Legislature needs to decide what to do about it, NIC President Bob Bennett told a legislative committee Wednesday.
"You're going to have to figure out a way to either stretch your dollars further, maybe tax people in a different way than they've been taxed before, or our local board is going to have to go to the students and say, 'Pay more,"' Bennett said.
Rep. Tom Dorr withdrew his controversial anti-divorce legislation Tuesday, saying he hadn't thought of how it would affect divorces involving spousal abuse.
"There's one glitch, and that's how the abused spouse is dealt with," said Dorr, R-Post Falls.
The first two pieces of Gov. Phil Batt's welfare reform package moved to the Senate floor Tuesday, amid debate over how Idaho can put welfare recipients to work without displacing other workers.
The bills would: