BSU’s Tromp should lead by example, cut her own pay and benefits

Fred Birnbaum Articles, Higher Education Leave a Comment

On Wednesday, Boise State University President Marlene Tromp announced a plan to inflict pay cuts and furloughs on all athletic department employees who earn more than $40,000 annually.  The school is reeling from the loss of football revenue after the Mountain West Conference canceled its season in August. The school, Tromp revealed recently, could be out more than $20 million …

Idaho K-12 education funding: There is plenty of money to educate Idaho’s students

Fred Birnbaum Articles, Education Leave a Comment

When K-12 education funding is discussed in Idaho, it is frequently noted that Idaho ranks low in spending per student compared to other states. Recently the national left-wing teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), published a study that ranked Idaho dead last. The problem with the NEA’s numbers: They don’t actually match what Idaho spends. (As of this writing …

Kustra attacks conservatives, IFF to deflect from his poor record

Fred Birnbaum Articles, Education, Higher Education Leave a Comment

Former BSU President Bob Kustra’s recent commentary spoke of “[t]aking back Idaho from its fringe politics.” Kustra took aim at legislators he deems extreme and the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Kustra’s examples of fringe politics included: Questioning the science behind the public health district’s mask mandates; supporting legislation that banned biological males from competing in female sports; and, not supporting the …

Understanding property tax relief under CARES Act

Fred Birnbaum Articles Leave a Comment

The federal CARES Act gave Idaho about $1.25 billion for COVID-19 relief efforts. Gov. Brad Little earmarked approximately $200 million of the federal cash for property tax relief.  As of July 20, 54 cities and 28 counties have opted to participate in this property tax relief opportunity. However, there is not a solid understanding of what this will mean for …

McLean launches Green New Deal for Boise

Fred Birnbaum Articles, Boise, SMART Boise Leave a Comment

Last week, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean announced the formation of a Climate Action Division, because, as the first-term mayor explained, “the risk to all Boiseans of climate inaction is substantial.”  The mayor’s goals are lofty: She wants Boise’s city government buildings to rely solely on power generated by solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric dams. That shift, the mayor believes, …

Mayor McLean breaks promise, raises property taxes in new budget

Fred Birnbaum Articles, SMART Boise Leave a Comment

In early June, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean distributed a news release in which she pledged not to raise taxes in the midst of a pandemic. Within a month, the first-term mayor has broken her promise. McLean’s first budget, released last week, increases property taxes and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars. And, unfortunately for overtaxed Boiseans, the mayor’s plan offers no …