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Policy

Department of Health and Welfare mistakenly double pays $32 million in benefits

By Niklas Kleinworth
December 1, 2023
According to internal communications within the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the department mistakenly double-paid more than $32 million in welfare benefits and dropped other payments entirely during the month of November. The message notes these issues are part of the challenges many departments are facing with implementing the LUMA system, Idaho’s new integrated […]
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Task force fails to offer solutions for Medicaid as program costs projected to soar

By Niklas Kleinworth
December 1, 2023
The Medicaid Managed Care Task Force released its final report this week detailing how it plans to curb Idaho’s oversized spending on medical welfare. But it offered no solutions, paying no mind to controlling the rampant costs of the program. The task force merely offered to sustain the existing structure of Idaho’s Medicaid program. The […]

Idaho’s Legislature is more open than ever, but the public is still barred in one key area

By Wayne Hoffman
November 30, 2023
In March 1972, the Idaho House of Representatives was in the middle of debating the adoption of a new criminal law code when legislative leadership abruptly and unexpectedly put a halt to the discussion. The reason: one of the members, Rep. Wayne Loveless, a Pocatello Democrat, had phoned one of his local radio stations, holding […]

Meet Alex, a kid lost in the cracks of Idaho’s sprawling medical welfare program

By Wayne Hoffman
November 28, 2023
Boise Democrat Lauren Necochea says this time of year reminds her of “the ways in which we care for one another.” And, she writes, “[O]ne of the best ways we do this as Idahoans is through Medicaid” which “provides necessary care for our children, pregnant Idahoans, seniors who need nursing home care, and both adults […]
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Director Jeppesen’s retirement from Health & Welfare should not end scrutiny of scandals

By Fred Birnbaum
November 21, 2023
Idaho Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen’s recent retirement announcement followed the previous week’s Joint Finance and Appropriation Committee (JFAC) fall budget review. We can’t be sure that the two are connected, but there were two damaging reports tied to Health and Welfare under his leadership.  IFF has covered one of the scandals related to […]

Top 6 Reasons Why Idaho’s Lt. Governor Scott Bedke isn’t a conservative

By Wayne Hoffman
November 16, 2023
Legacy newspaper columnist Chuck Malloy offers up an interesting bit of historical fiction in his latest column on Idaho government and Idaho's lieutenant governor.  Writes Malloy, "It wasn’t long ago when now — Lt. Gov. Scott Bedke was part of a House leadership team that was widely viewed as one of the most conservative in […]
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Judicial Council illegally (and once again) hides records regarding Supreme Court appointment

By Wayne Hoffman
November 14, 2023
Last legislative session, lawmakers frustrated with the process the Idaho Judicial Council deployed to fill judicial vacancies passed a law to change things up a bit. One of those reforms required the council, when it reports to the governor with names of candidates for the court, to “provide to the governor a report summarizing the […]
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Winder abuses office in attempt to silence conservatives 

By Wayne Hoffman
November 13, 2023
Senate Pro Tem Chuck Winder is using his position of power to intimidate and silence legislators with whom he disagrees. For that, he deserves to be investigated for ethics violations.  Sadly, that will likely never happen because Senate rules require ethics complaints to go through him, which is emblematic of the authoritarian system devised and […]

Conservatives got beat in local elections because the system is rigged for leftists

By Wayne Hoffman
November 8, 2023
There’s been a lot of chatter today about election results from local elections across Idaho. To put it politely, candidates from the “right” got their butts handed to them. Leftists — and leftist-supported candidates — won city council and school board races statewide. Why? Answers follow: These are easy problems to fix.  First, there’s nothing […]

Tax cuts should be on the table in January

By Fred Birnbaum
November 8, 2023
It has been several months since the Division of Financial Management released the latest data on how much taxes the state has collected. The agency isn’t hiding the data; it was just a function of getting the state’s new Luna software to sync with the Tax Commission. We don’t have all of the numbers because […]
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Little’s Supreme Court appointment of Cynthia Meyer is probably mostly about gender

By Wayne Hoffman
November 6, 2023
All this time, I put former Attorney General Lawrence Wasden as the odds-on favorite for being added to the state Supreme Court. He was Gov. Brad Little's bootlicking footsoldier, especially during the time of COVID, giving the governor unchallenged authority to unilaterally change laws, spend money without the approval of the Legislature, and ignore the […]
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Jim Jones' views of the state's judicial system are extremist

By Wayne Hoffman
November 3, 2023
"Idaho has a remarkable judiciary," shouts the headline in Jim Jones' latest column, "We can't let extremists ruin it." If only. If Idaho's judiciary was so wonderful, would the Idaho Judicial Council, the panel responsible for picking the state's judges and justices: Isn't defense of these actions itself extremist? Most people would say so. In […]

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