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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Betsy Z. Russell

This individual is no longer an employee with The Spokesman-Review.

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News >  ID Government

Labrador equates Otter’s failed Idaho Health Care Plan with ‘Medicaid expansion’

Oddly, GOP gubernatorial candidate Raul Labrador sent out a statement last week headlined, “Labrador praises conservatives in the Idaho Legislature for rejecting Medicaid expansion,” saying of the Idaho Health Care Plan bill that was sent back to committee from the House rather than debated and voted up or down on Wednesday, “There’s no question this proposal would have expanded Medicaid and made thousands of Idahoans dependent on the government for their healthcare.”
News >  ID Government

Idaho reaction to Risch: ‘An insult to the people of Idaho and the nation’

UPDATED: Fri., March 23, 2018

Here’s some of the reaction in Idaho on Friday to Sen. Jim Risch’s move Thursday to try to strip out the renaming of the White Clouds Wilderness in Idaho for the late Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus – which delayed the Senate’s vote on the must-pass budget bill until after midnight, forcing some senators to be rousted from bed for the vote and throwing into disarray the travel plans of other senators who had official overseas congressional delegation trips scheduled to depart on Thursday night.

News >  ID Government

Idaho’s legislative session to extend into next week

UPDATED: Thu., March 22, 2018

Plans for Idaho’s legislative session to wrap up this week went awry on Thursday, when the House Republican Caucus insisted it wants to extend the session for a full five days after the final bills are presented to the governor, to give lawmakers a chance to try to override any veto.
News >  ID Government

Lawmakers put early-reading test back into Idaho state budget

UPDATED: Tue., March 20, 2018

Idaho lawmakers have come up with a new budget for the state superintendent of schools that includes the statewide rollout next year of a new version of the state’s reading assessment test for kindergartners through third-graders – which had been left out of the previous version of the budget bill.
News >  ID Government

Idaho scholarship bill passes, in win for Otter

UPDATED: Mon., March 19, 2018

The Idaho House on Monday voted 37-32 in favor expanding Idaho’s Opportunity Scholarship program to also cover “adult completers” who are returning to school to finish their degrees – handing Gov. Butch Otter a win on a long-sought initiative he’s been pushing for the past three years.
News >  ID Government

Idaho’s health coverage gap still unaddressed as lawmakers push toward adjournment

UPDATED: Thu., March 15, 2018

Health care advocates rallied at the Idaho Capitol on Thursday, calling for lawmakers to take back up Gov. Butch Otter’s health coverage gap proposal, which was pulled from the House floor without a vote two weeks ago. But lawmakers are showing few signs that they’ll do so; they’re pushing hard to adjourn this year’s legislative session as soon as next week.
News >  ID Government

Idaho House backs move to ease some mandatory minimum drug sentences

UPDATED: Mon., March 12, 2018

After a stormy debate, the Idaho House voted 46-20 on Monday to ease some of the state’s mandatory minimum drug sentences in cases where a judge finds imposing them would be a “manifest injustice” and there’s no danger to society. “We are not condoning drugs – we have to make that very, very clear here,” Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, told the House. But she said Idaho’s current mandatory minimum sentence laws define an offense as “drug trafficking” based solely on possession of certain quantities of specific drugs – and require lengthy prison terms even for first offenders and those who only had the drugs for personal use.
Opinion >  Column

Eye on Boise: Denney gets a do-over on his budget

Eight days after a stunned Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said lawmakers had “gutted” his budget, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee did a re-do, and relented on providing $1.2 million in one-time funds next year for an elections system technological upgrade.