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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Funding for ‘pulse crops’ program included in Farm Bill

WASHINGTON – Federal money for a program aimed at increasing bean, lentil and chickpea consumption has made it into the compromise version of the farm bill now working its way through Congress. Eastern Washington and Idaho are where “pulse crops” are primarily grown in the United States, and the $10 million pilot program was crafted by U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.

Betsy Z. Russell: Secretary of state candidates gain GOP endorsements

BOISE – It’s become something of an endorsement war lately among the GOP candidates for Idaho secretary of state, with Mitch Toryanski introducing Freda Cenarrusa, widow of longtime Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa, as his campaign chair; Evan Frasure touting endorsements from an array of lawmakers topped by Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis; and Lawerence Denney naming three honorary campaign chairmen.

Eye on Boise: Crapo’s injuries draw attention in Washington, D.C.

BOISE – Idaho U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo drew some second looks in Washington, D.C., last week, but not necessarily because of his comments in the Senate. Instead, it was the rather dramatic facial injury he’s sporting, including a V-shaped bruise on his cheek that extends across a good portion of the side of his face. “He took a fall while moving furniture at his Idaho Falls home the day after Thanksgiving,” reported Crapo’s press secretary, Lindsay Nothern. “Took some stitches to close – left a bruise, but he’s healing OK.”

Eye on Boise: Crapo, Risch say anti-discrimination laws best left to states

BOISE – When the U.S. Senate voted 64-32 last week in favor of legislation to ban workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians, 10 Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two independents to support the bill, but Idaho’s two senators both voted against it. “Number one, this is a state’s rights issue,” Idaho Sen. Jim Risch said. “Number two, this bill made insufficient provisions for employers who have First Amendment constitutional protections to exercise their religious beliefs.”

Murray, Crapo pursue budget deal again

WASHINGTON – As the 29 members of the congressional Budget Conference Committee gathered for opening remarks Wednesday, perhaps the only thing hanging more heavily in the air of the subterranean conference room than the prospect of another budget and debt-limit showdown in early 2014 was the sense of déjà vu. The differences of opinion seemed no more reconcilable Wednesday than they have for years: raise taxes or cut spending?

Eye on Boise: Idaho’s per-capita taxes among lowest in country

BOISE – Idaho’s tax burden per capita ranks 49th in the nation, according to the latest results from an annual study by the Idaho State Tax Commission. It’s the lowest among 11 Western states. The study found that Idaho’s per-capita tax burden is $2,975, compared to the $4,296 national average and a $3,648 median among Western states.

Eye on Boise: Sens. Crapo, Risch to host online town halls

Both of Idaho’s U.S. senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, have scheduled “tele-town hall” meetings in the coming week. Risch’s will be on Monday, and Crapo’s on Wednesday, both starting at 6 p.m. Pacific time. Any Idahoan can participate but needs to sign up online in advance.