LISTEN: National pundits highlight Idaho’s retirement spiking loophole

Two national pundits weighed in this week on a loophole in Idaho code that allows state lawmakers to add thousands of dollars to their taxpayer-funded retirement. Watchdog.org's Eric Boehm and the San Diego Tribune's Steven Greenhut highlighted the case of former Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk of Boise, who Gov. Butch Otter just appointed to a high-paying job at the Idaho State Tax Commission. If Werk stays at the job at least 42 months, he'll add $20,000 a year to his part-time legislative pension. Listen here:
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Lawmakers erect another barrier to entry, economic progress

The pattern is a familiar one: An occupation, business, or industry gains some prominence, gets some scale and then looks around for ways to limit entry into their profession. Usually industry insiders tell us new rules or regulations will serve the public or, for more poignancy, protect a disadvantaged segment of society. Industry, with the help of well-intentioned lawmakers, repeated this pattern Wednesday as the House Health and Welfare Committee approved a bill for new regulations on sign language interpreters. The interpreters gave the legislation their enthusiastic support. One of the selling points of occupational licensure, according to the fiscal
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LISTEN: IFF Vice President opposes new business regulations for sign language interpreters

Idaho Freedom Foundation Vice President Fred Birnbaum spoke against new government regulations for sign language interpreters during a House Health and Welfare hearing Wednesday. Birbaum suggested the new rules would be overly burdensome and restrict economic opportunities for Idahoans, while doing little to improve quality of services. Listen below:
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Our budget cuts taxes, provides funding for roads, schools

The Idaho Freedom Foundation on Tuesday released an alternative to Gov. Butch Otter’s budget proposal. The IFF budget plan dramatically lowers income taxes, gets rid of the sales tax on groceries, provides $62.5 million for highways and increases funding for public schools. The budget contemplates spending $3.05 billion, an increase of 3.8 percent over last year’s appropriation. Otter’s budget would increase spending by 6.5 percent, when fund transfers are treated as expenses. The IFF budget also takes into account the $25 million that is expected to be required to cover fire suppression costs, something Otter's budget does not. “Our budget
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