Balukoff mistaken in endorsing expansion of Medicaid

Democrat gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff believes that he is the cure for the “Otter fatigue” that is ailing Idaho. Balukoff chides Gov. Otter and the Republicans for being too close to special interests and business lobbyists. It is surprising, then, to read the following on Balukoff’s campaign website, “The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry projects that businesses would profit from statewide Medicaid expansion.” As someone who touts his business experience, it is disturbing that Balukoff would gloss over the fact that the expansion relies entirely on federal money and largely targets childless, able-bodied adults. Medicaid expansion would increase Idaho’s
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Compliments of the taxpayer, it pays to be president of the Boise Education Association

At the end of May, the Boise Independent School District (the District) and the Boise Educational Association (the BEA) signed a new Master Contract (the Master Contract). On July 1, 2014, the Master Contract went into effect.  According to Article II, Section P, of the Master Contract, under the heading “Association President’s Leave”: “The Association president shall be allowed a leave of absence for his/her term of office with salary and benefits to be paid by the Association for the time that the president is released from teaching duties. The District shall reimburse the Association the cost of salary and
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ITD funding issue points out folly of being dependent on the feds

After all these years working with government agencies, some of their responses continue to surprise me. On July 2, I asked the Idaho Transportation Department to tell me how it was responding to a July 1 letter containing a threat from the federal government that it may curtail highway construction money that states, including Idaho, were expecting to receive. The department’s spokesman, Reed Hollinshead, responded with, “ITD will temporarily suspend further advertising of construction projects pending resolution of the funding shortfall. ITD is aware of the situation and remains hopeful that this impasse can be avoided.” The response prompted other
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Medicaid expansion, not higher speed limit, needs reconsideration

Idaho’s freeways will not be upgrading to an 80 mph speed limit just yet. Despite receiving legislative approval during the last session, concerns raised by AAA and the Idaho Trucking Association have prompted the Idaho Transportation Department to reevaluate its plans. Whether this delay frustrates you (as it does me) likely depends on your views on the current speed limits and the inconvenience they impose. It’s interesting to note, though, that Utah’s 80 mph speed limits haven’t been a problem, Texas actually has an 85 mph speed limit on one highway and Wyoming is set to join the 80 mph
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Occupational licensing a noble-sounding scheme that limits competition

The goal of Idaho’s Bureau of Occupational Licenses is “to help safeguard human health and property, and to promote the public welfare.” Who can be against that? It’s actually a lot of smoke and mirrors. One such outcome of such regulations is to limit the number of workers and protect those in the respective industries from increased competition. Think about it: In order to get the license, one has to study for an extensive period of time and pass costly exams. The board supervising the licenses is made up of workers from the profession whose interest is to limit the
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