Transparency in public records surest way to build confidence in government

Over the years, the public’s expectations for government transparency and openness have increased while Idaho’s public records law has not kept up. It used to be that a government was considered sufficiently transparent if you could walk into your local city hall and look at the budget and city council meeting minutes, for example. It was considered transparent if you could request a record and receive a response in three working days, as is required under Idaho’s statute. Today, people expect more. The city that merely provides paper copies of information on demand is considered opaque in its interactions with
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The state should be given the opportunity to see how it manages federal forest land

Back in the 1970s the “Sagebrush Rebellion” erupted in the West, with rural residents pushing back against federal restrictions on grazing, forestry, mining and recreational use of federal lands. The issues have never gone away, but a case can be made that the federal government is slowly winning the war with a variety of tactics including veiled threats, grazing restrictions, logging reductions, an arduous permitting process for resource development and the use of the Endangered Species Act to stop traditional land use. Members of the environmental community are now attempting to throw cold water on the notion that the federal
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Boise State to revise speech and event policies

In July I blogged on multiple occasions about the First Amendment issues that Young Americans for Liberty at Boise State University (“YAL”) faced when it brought Dick Heller to campus to talk about his landmark Second Amendment case. I also blogged about our letter to the university expressing our concern about certain Boise State policies and the chilling effect that those policies could have on speech on campus. I am very happy that after discussions with the university, Boise State is voluntarily suspending a number of its policies regarding speech and events on campus, and has also committed to working
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Debt and dependency imperil liberty and independence

Sept. 18 is an historic day in Scotland when the country’s three-century partnership with England is put to a vote of the people. While the outcome of the vote is still anybody’s guess (polls show the referendum too close to call), speculation on the short- and long-term implications of the decision abounds. Some European countries are already expressing concern that the “independence contagion” (as one article put it) could spread to other parts of the continent—especially if Scotland’s referendum is successful. Questions also remain regarding Scotland’s position in the European Union (EU) should it be successful in achieving full independence
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Get ready for campus carry debate, Round 2

Idaho lawmakers will once again debate the policy they approved earlier this year allowing guns on college campuses. Five schools are asking lawmakers to approve $1.5 million in emergency spending for campus security in the current budget year, according to information from the governor’s Division of Financial Management. Two community colleges are pressing for cash: North Idaho College wants $258,400; the College of Western Idaho wants $118,800; three universities are also angling for money: Boise State University has requested the most, $592,600; Idaho State University has asked for $332,800; the University of Idaho wants $241,800. The University of Idaho’s request
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