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Policy

Christmas in January: Some GOP sour on Otter’s $220 million spending binge

By Dustin Hurst
January 18, 2016
A former Idaho Press Tribune political reporter offered some witty analysis of Gov. Butch Otter’s State of the State address, delivered last week in the Idaho Capitol. Kelcie Mosely, the former reporter, tweeted: Feel like Otter's speech was very Oprah style this year. You get $10 million, and you get $10 million, and everybody gets […]
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Otter, Little push massive budget increases and fairy tale tax cuts

By Wayne Hoffman
January 15, 2016
A growing number of Idaho lawmakers are struggling to commit to Gov. Butch Otter’s nosebleed budget. Moreover, they’re starting to rebel against the administration’s disingenuous narrative of how Otter’s proposed budget includes taxes cuts. The fact is, there are no tax cuts, but that’s not stopping the claim.   When the usual accounting gimmicks are […]
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Lawmakers introduce bill to ban powdered alcohol

By Dustin Hurst
January 13, 2016
House State Affairs Committee members introduced a bill Monday that would ban the sale and use in Idaho of powdered alcohol, dubbed Palcohol. The Idaho Liquor Division, the legislation’s sponsor, wants Idaho to join the numerous other states that have already banned the substance, which last year was given initial approval for consumption by the […]
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Hoffman: Otter's budget a 'tax-and-spend bonanza'

By Wayne Hoffman
January 12, 2016
Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman blasted Gov. Butch Otter’s budget document Monday, describing the plan as a “tax-and-spend bonanza.” Here’s Hoffman’s full statement about the budget: The governor's budget is a tax-and-spend bonanza. It disappointingly contains no tax relief, but rather offers stratospheric, unrealistic levels of state government expenditures. His budget should be declared […]
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Bedke wants secret gun committee to vet permitless carry bill

By Dustin Hurst
January 7, 2016
Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said Thursday he will deploy a secret gun committee to vet a bill that would allow Idahoans to conceal firearms without a permit. Bedke, speaking to reporters at a briefing ahead of next week’s legislative session kick-off, offered tepid support for permitless concealed carry.   “I would be […]
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ISP: Unmarked-car plan not due to ticket slump

By Dustin Hurst
January 6, 2016
A plan to allow the Idaho State Police to use unmarked patrol cars on the state’s highways and interstates isn’t a response to slumping ticket counts, the agency confirmed Wednesday. ISP communications manager Teresa Baker told IdahoReporter.com, the proposal, backed by Gov. Butch Otter’s administration, will address aggressive and distracted driving. “No, the number of […]
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Vick: Unmarked ISP patrol cars could have ‘negative effect on’ police efforts

By Dustin Hurst
January 6, 2016
Dalton Gardens Republican Sen. Steve Vick wonders if allowing the Idaho State Police to deploy unmarked cars during highway patrol could worsen law enforcement efforts on Gem State highways. Vick, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, told IdahoReporter.com he’s unsure if the agency needs the covert cars. “It’s always been my understanding that the […]
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Palmer: Another transportation tax hike unlikely

By Dustin Hurst
January 6, 2016
A key member of the Idaho Legislature said Tuesday that lawmakers likely won’t seek another tax hike to fund road and bridge repairs. House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, told IdahoReporter.com he’s unlikely to throw support behind any tax hike plan. “I don’t think we need to raise taxes any more for that,” Palmer […]
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End unfair video restrictions in the Idaho House

By Dustin Hurst
December 22, 2015
It’s time for the Idaho House of Representatives to repeal a rule that prevents ordinary Idahoans from capturing video in House committee rooms. The restriction, part of the House’s rulebook that outlines how representatives conduct business, flies in the face of open government and, with technological advances, will soon become entirely unenforceable. Officially the restriction […]
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Key lawmakers want broad tax relief in 2016

By Dustin Hurst
December 18, 2015
The 2016 legislative session may prove to be a case of good, better, and best as far as tax relief goes. But, who decides what’s best for Idahoans and business owners? That answer could prove lucrative for some -- and leave others wanting. Key members of the House and Senate tax committees told IdahoReporter.com they […]
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