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Thursday, December 12, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: idaho legislature


Pay for Idaho state workers continues to fall

BOISE – Pay for Idaho state employees has now slipped to 19 percent below market rates, according to the latest state report, a gap that’s been growing for the past …


Idaho Rep. Brandon Hixon plays down late house payments

BOISE – An Idaho state lawmaker says constituents shouldn’t be concerned that he hasn’t made a house payment since June 2012, four months before he was elected to the 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 …


Panel says Idaho wastes millions jailing nonviolent offenders

BOISE – Nonviolent criminals are being kept behind bars in Idaho twice as long as they are in the rest of the nation. That’s among the major findings of a …


Gov. Otter: ‘More of the same’ in next legislative session

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is promising “more of the same” for Idaho’s upcoming legislative session – with a lean, cautious approach to new spending or programs, despite the …


Bipartisan Idaho school reform bills unveiled

BOISE – In a rare moment of bipartisanship on school reform in Idaho, Democratic state lawmakers unveiled four far-reaching bills Wednesday, and GOP state schools Superintendent Tom Luna endorsed them. …


Former Silver Valley lawmaker Shepherd dies

Former longtime state Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard, has died at age 80.


FaceTime chat helps Idaho state senator during stroke

BOISE – An Idaho state senator is crediting modern technology and attentive family members for her speedy recovery from a mild stroke after her son recognized her symptoms during a …


Eye on Boise: Branden Durst resigns from state Senate for family reasons

BOISE – A Democratic state senator from Boise resigned from the Senate last week, several months after news reports suggested he’d actually already left the state. Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise, …


Idaho Freedom Foundation downplays Rep. Mark Patterson email’s timing

BOISE – The timing of a supportive Idaho Freedom Foundation email blast praising an embattled state lawmaker’s failed gun rights legislation is raising eyebrows. The email arrived in the inbox …


Idaho Tax Commission refuses property tax break extension

BOISE – Idaho’s state Tax Commission refused Tuesday to extend a big property tax break to operators of railroad tracks, pipelines, cell towers and underground tanks, despite the urging of …


Medicaid gets Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry support

BOISE – Idaho’s biggest business lobby has come out in favor of expanding Medicaid for Idaho’s poor, a move expected to save state taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s …


Idaho Rep. Mark Patterson can carry gun without permit

BOISE – A legislator whose concealed weapon permit was revoked for lying about a long-ago rape case can still legally carry hidden guns – because Idaho is the only state …


Idaho same-sex couples sue state over marriage ban

BOISE – Four same-sex couples from Boise filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging Idaho’s ban on gay marriage and its laws that deny recognition of same-sex marriages from other states. …


Eye on Boise: Tribes introduce treaty rights as factor in federal land debate

BOISE – A new wrinkle was added last week to the debate over Idaho lawmakers’ attempts to take over federal public land in the state. Representatives of Idaho Indian tribes …


Idaho reoffender rate high, study shows

BOISE – After seven months of intensive study of Idaho’s criminal justice system, researchers have found some surprising trends underlying Idaho’s high incarceration rate despite its low crime rate: More …


Eye on Boise: Opposing Idaho education reform views heard by joint committee

BOISE – A joint legislative committee tasked with looking at whether Idaho should keep three controversial – and temporary – teacher contract laws that lawmakers enacted this year got mixed …


Out & About: Orienteers sponsor instruction, event

OUTREACH – A day of orienteering classes and activities geared to novices is set for Saturday to celebrate National Orienteering Week at the Gonzaga University campus. Orienteering is a wild-land …


Idaho Freedom Foundation’s charitable status scrutinized

BOISE – In the ornate public gallery of the Idaho House of Representatives, lobbyist Erik Makrush of the Idaho Freedom Foundation leaned over to a reporter sitting next to him …


List of Idaho Freedom Foundation accomplishments long

Founder and President Wayne Hoffman says the Idaho Freedom Foundation was formed as a “free-market think tank,” but the keynote speaker at IFF’s annual fundraising banquet this year, conservative commentator …


Rural North Idaho has state’s worst Internet

BOISE – Rural North Idaho is the worst-served part of the state when it comes to broadband Internet service, a legislative committee learned Friday. “Where we’re struggling probably the most …


Tom Luna: Idaho students must rise to higher standards

BOISE – Idaho’s education system faces a “stark reality,” state schools Superintendent Tom Luna told a special legislative committee Thursday: “Kids are meeting our standards, but they aren’t the right …


Idaho Correctional Center control could be put up to bid

BOISE – State agencies should be able to competitively bid on government work earmarked for private contractors, a legislator argues. The proposal, drafted by state Rep. John Gannon, is aimed …


Bill would require Idaho to compare state, private prison costs

After Idaho’s Board of Correction refused to consider state operation as it seeks a new operator for a troubled privately run prison south of Boise, a state lawmaker has drafted …


University of Idaho gets OK to add another law school year in Boise

BOISE – Idaho’s state Board of Education approved adding another year of law school education in Boise on Monday, but not before some board members objected to adding more lawyers …


Idaho school Wi-Fi plan surprises legislators

BOISE – Idaho state schools chief Tom Luna is about to sign a 15-year, multimillion-dollar contract for a private company to set up Wi-Fi networks in every high school in …


Idaho, Washington combat rise in metal theft

BOISE – Metal thieves who steal from electrical substations and other utility installations in Idaho now face stiffer penalties, particularly if their pilfering interrupts service. And if the thieves are …


Idaho schools superintendent dismisses adding counselors

BOISE – Idaho lawmakers are unhappy that the state’s schools superintendent has resisted moves to add more school counselors. More counselors equals more students continuing their education at colleges or …


Lawmakers bemoan Idaho’s shortage of school counselors

Idaho lawmakers are unhappy that the state’s schools superintendent has resisted moves to add more school counselors to help boost the number of students going on to higher education.


Activists kick off initiative to raise Idaho minimum wage

As a health teacher at Lakes Middle School in Coeur d’Alene, Warren Ducote saw firsthand the effect of poverty on students’ emotional and physical well-being. “You see the depression, the …