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When the Idaho Press Club won its public records lawsuit against Ada County, the judge ruled the county had repeatedly flouted the law by taking the position that all public records are exempt from disclosure if they could possibly affect an array of broad concerns including “privacy,” “deliberative process,” “attorney-client,” “personnel,” and so forth – without reference to any of the more than 100 specific exemptions in the law.
When it came time to debate HB 409, Rep. Mike Moyle’s one-year property tax freeze bill, in the House on Thursday, it was put off for a second time, this time until Tuesday.
It’s been four decades since the Equal Rights Amendment fell three states short of the 38 needed for ratification to amend the U.S. Constitution, but the amendment is back in the news.
The newest member of Idaho’s congressional delegation, GOP 1st District Rep. Russ Fulcher, has been in office just 10 months.
A ripple of apprehensive laughter spread through the audience, as Nampa school trustee Allison Westfall, playing the role of a fictional city council member, read her line: “This isn’t on the agenda tonight, but since we’re all together, let’s straighten out this budget issue.” Her fellow “council members” leaned in close.
If Idaho state workers’ pay raises are dependent on performance, why do directors and agency heads get 3% across the board?
An Idaho state representative who is under federal indictment in Texas is continuing to press his appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals of a court order that he not possess firearms while he’s free on bond.
A legislative interim committee has scheduled four meetings between now and November, with the first on June 17, to “evaluate the effectiveness of Medicaid eligibility expansion and its impact on the financial obligation of the counties and the state in providing indigent assistance.”
With 8,000-plus pages of administrative rules set to expire by July 1, state agencies are scrambling to go through all of their myriad rules and decide which ones should be reauthorized and which dropped.
Idaho’s economy is booming, Sen. Jim Risch said Friday, saying, “We’ve been extremely successful. I liken it to the dog that has caught the car.”
When the Legislature passes a bill, the governor has three options: sign it into law, veto it or let it become law without his signature. New Gov. Brad Little, in his first legislative session this year, never exercised that third option, and it was intentional.
As this year’s over-long legislative session nears its culmination, lawmakers tend to get a little punchy.
As the legislative session winds down – or perhaps more accurately, cranks up to its final frenzy – I write limericks. Some are lighthearted; some, not so much.
When voters overturned the “Luna Laws” on school reform in 2012, it was the first time Idaho voters had taken such a step since 1936. But a similar move is afoot in reaction to the Legislature’s maneuver this year to make it much, much harder to qualify an Idaho voter initiative or referendum for the ballot.
Two competing, and very different, Idaho polls about Medicaid expansion were released last week, one from a Florida group, Opportunity Solutions Project, purporting to show strong support among Idahoans for attaching work requirements to voter-approved Medicaid expansion, and the other from Close the Gap Idaho, a coalition of Idaho organizations that supported Medicaid expansion, that purports to show the same level of strong support for the opposite.
Eleven months ago, amid confusion and misunderstandings, the Idaho House unexpectedly killed popular legislation to create a “pet-friendly” special license plate to benefit low-cost spay and neutering services in rural Idaho. Then-Rep. Hy Kloc, D-Boise, had worked on the bill for several years, but had been out ill for all of last year’s legislative session, with substitutes filling in for him, when the bill was rejected.
Idaho’s Division of Child Welfare, which oversees child protection, foster care and adoptions, is responsible for one of the state’s most vulnerable populations – children who may have been abused or neglected. But a 2017 report from the state Office of Performance Evaluations documented major problems in the division, including a massive overload of cases for the staff that created a “constant feeling of crisis.”
All of Idaho’s public college and university presidents got a chance to address the Legislature’s joint budget committee during last week's education budget hearings, and some had lessons for the lawmakers.
After three years of study, research, input and work, the Legislature’s interim committee that worked on a new approach to dividing Idaho’s school funding among schools across the state handed its work off to the House and Senate education committees last week, which now will take the lead on refining the final product.
With Sen. Cliff Bayer off to Washington, D.C., to be new Congressman Russ Fulcher’s chief of staff, Bayer’s mom, Regina Bayer, has been appointed to fill in as his temporary replacement. The Senate welcomed her last week; she’s also known as Sen. Bayer.