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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye on Boise: Citizens need more openness and transparency from their government

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.

Eye on Boise: Interactive skit displays what not to do under Idaho Open Meeting Law

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.

Eye on Boise: New initiative could frustrate proposed new initiative law

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.

Eye on Boise: Dueling polls ask different questions

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.

Eye on Boise: ‘Pet-friendly’ license plate returns in bipartisan move

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.

Eye on Boise: Idaho’s Child Welfare Division undergoing ‘transformation’

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.”

Eye on Boise: New school funding formula unveiled, lawmakers roll up sleeves

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.

Eye on Boise: There’s a new Sen. Bayer, at least for now

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.