David Adler opines: Aristotle, the great champion of the citizenry’s views, observed that if you really want to understand what a state values, observe how it spends its money. In an age in which politicians of every stripe … Read more >>
The Times-News opines: Idaho state government and technology contracts don’t mix.
Yet another instance of cronyism surfaced last week, exposing the state’s broken system of insider favor and political gift giving.
It’s the worst form of government, one … Read more >>
Betsy Russell reports Idaho’s tax burden per capita is 49th lowest in the nation, according to the latest results from an annual study by the Idaho State Tax Commission, and it’s the lowest among 11 western states. The … Read more >>
Last week, Executive Director Amy Dowd awarded a $375,000 technology contract to former board member Frank Chan.
Chan … Read more >>
The Times-News reports: State Board of Education member Bill Goesling ripped into Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s budget proposal on Thursday, calling the 5.9 percent spending increase “unacceptable.”
Goesling said an increase in public school funding would come … Read more >>
Boise State Public Radioreports: Some Idaho Board of Education members fear a proposed 5.9 percent funding hike for public schools in 2015 could come at the expense of universities.
On Thursday, board member Bill Goesling of Moscow worried the … Read more >>
Clark Corbin reports: A first-term lawmaker is taking on a long-standing and emotional educational battle: pre-kindergarten programs.
Rep. Hy Kloc wants the state to launch a three-year pre-K pilot program, with 55 percent of the funding coming from private … Read more >>
Cecil Andrus receives his Children’s Champion belt Friday in … Read more >>
Michael Ferguson opines: Kudos to Governor Otter for his courageous embrace of his education task force’s recommendations. With an estimated price tag of approximately $350 million, those recommendations will go a long way toward restoring cuts that have … Read more >>
Betsy Russell reports: Idaho’s state tax revenue surged nearly $16 million ahead of forecasts in September, beating the forecasted level by 6.4 percent. The extra revenue was enough to more than offset shortfalls compared to forecasts for the … Read more >>
The Press-Tribune opines: When the Great Recession hit in 2007, Idaho lawmakers made significant cuts to state spending on public schools. But legislators promised that, when things got better, restoring that funding would be top priority.
Now Idaho Schools Superintendent
The Standard Journal reports: Idaho Superintendent of Public Schools Tom Luna is asking for a budget increase of $77 million next year to help restore funding to pay for school operations and give teachers a pay raise.
Luna is … Read more >>
Well-paid workers spend money on homes, furniture, cars, and services – just about everything. This “multiplier effect” … Read more >>
The Press Tribune reports: Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna today called for a $77 million increase in public school funding in 2014-15 – with more than half of the new spending tied to teacher pay.
This bump would
East Idaho News reports: As next year’s election looms, State Superintendent Tom Luna is pushing for more education funding. On Tuesday, Luna unveiled a $1.37 billion budget for the 2014-2015 school year, which would amount to about a … Read more >>
Bill Roberts reports: State schools chief Tom Luna stuck close to the education reform road map laid out by a statewide task force as he made public his 2014-2015 budget Tuesday, seeking a career ladder for teachers and restoring … Read more >>
Rocky Barker reports: Because of the federal government shutdown, all of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Idaho offices will be unable to provide support to the public, contractors, state and local agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.
But a team
Julie Wootton reports: Budgets, legislative ideas and proposed changes to a rule about gun-free schools were among items addressed yesterday by the Idaho Board of Education.
The board oversees public K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, and its meeting … Read more >>
State driver’s license data shows the trend started in 2011, and while the number is relatively small in a population of almost
Betsy Russell reports: Idaho lawmakers are unhappy that the state’s schools superintendent has resisted moves to add more school counselors.
More counselors equals more students continuing their education at colleges or trade schools, they say.
Increasing Idaho’s dismal percentage of students pursuing … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is spending part of his week in Coeur d’Alene at Idaho’s largest business lobby’s annual convention. Gov. Otter’s spokesman says one of the administration’s main goals for the next legislative session is … Read more >>
The Legislature’s Office of Performance Evaluations presented a 38-page report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee this morning. The study,
Betsy Russell reports: Idaho lawmakers are unhappy that the state’s schools superintendent has resisted moves to add more school counselors to help boost the number of students going on to higher education.
In 2010-2011, Idaho had 489 students for every … Read more >>
The Emmett Messenger-Index opines: “Levy Fails” was the big headline in the Messenger Index May 29 issue. The immediate impact to the Emmett School District was planning for $1.77M reduction over our proposed budget — $500,000 of this is … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: Idaho’s largest business lobby is hosting its annual policy meeting in Coeur d’Alene this week. According to theCoeur d’Alene Press, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is attending the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry retreat, … Read more >>
In a farewell essay published in the Idaho Statesman (May … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: The lawmakers who shape Idaho’s annual budget will tour the northern part of the state this week to get a glimpse of their policy decisions in action.
Members of the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, or JFAC, … Read more >>
Audrey Dutton reports: Gov. Butch Otter wants to make it harder for people to benefit from Medicaid unless they make healthy choices. It’s one of the options he’s weighing as he ponders whether to add Idaho’s poorest adults to the … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: Nearly 4,000 uninsured Idaho veterans would be eligible for health insurance if the state expanded Medicaid coverage. That’s according to new analysis from the Urban Institute, reported by Stateline.
Dan Popkey reports: Gov. Butch Otter is rejecting the notion that a projected $162 million in surprise revenue means the 2014 Legislature should boost spending growth.
Otter said he’s “bound and determined that the government is not going to grow … Read more >>
Dan Popkey reports: Gov. Butch Otter is rejecting the notion that a projected $162 million in unexpected revenue means the 2014 Legislature should aim to boost spending.
Otter said he’s “bound and determined that the government is not going to … Read more >>
Dan Popkey reports: Former chief state economist Mike Ferguson’s analysis of the big jump in revenues for the year’s most important month means the 2014 Legislature will have $162 million more than contemplated when lawmakers adjourned early last month. That … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: In the largest unexpected increase of the fiscal year, Idaho state tax collections were up 13.2 percent above projections in April.
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: A bill that would give a sales tax exemption to pregnancy resource clinics that don’t offer abortion services has passed the House. In a 58-12 vote, Idaho lawmakers approved Rep. Kelley Packer’s (R-McCammon) proposal.
Packer introduced the bill … Read more >>
Peter Crabb Column: More health care choices may be coming to your neighborhood, courtesy of Washington, D.C.
Idaho’s Legislature is debating the establishment of a state-run health insurance exchange. But with a federally run health insurance exchange, we all … Read more >>
Hannah Furfaro reports: The Senate Education Committee agreed Monday to introduce three revised bills aimed at giving Idaho school boards authority to reduce teacher salaries and more bargaining leverage during contract talks with the teachers union.
The three measures mirror … Read more >>
Laurie Welch reports: County and city officials across Mini-Cassia urged their residents Friday, Feb. 8, to fight a legislative effort to modify Idaho’s personal property tax on businesses.
Legislators are currently looking at a complete repeal of the state’s personal … Read more >>
Molly Messick reports: Not long ago, Sen. John Tippets (R-Montpelier) found himself in a peculiar spot. This summer and fall, influential lawmakers and the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry made it clear that phasing out or eliminating Idaho’s … Read more >>
Sean Ellis reports: An expected push to repeal the state’s personal property tax this year has some farm leaders alarmed because of concern about how it could affect agriculture.
“It’s a possibility and we should take it seriously,” said Sen. … Read more >>
Betsy Russell reports: The House Revenue & Taxation Committee has voted overwhelmingly in favor of HB 88, the governor’s bill to revise and expand the Hire One More Employee (HOME) tax credit. Only Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, opposed the … Read more >>
Jennifer Swindell reports: The governor’s Education Task Force will not make recommendations to the 2013 Legislature, leaving $34 million in legislative limbo.
Gov. Butch Otter and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna both allocated in their education budgets $34 … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: For cookie connoisseurs, this might be the best time of year. It’s Girl Scout cookie season. Starting next week, Idaho Girl Scouts will be canvassing neighborhoods and their parents’ offices to take orders for boxes … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s health insurance exchange plan will move forward for a full vote in the Idaho Senate.
Lawmakers on the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee spent more than 90 minutes listening to a second day … Read more >>
Molly Messick reports: Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter made a little news yesterday with his uncertainty about whether lawmakers will come up with a plan for phasing out or eliminating the state’s tax on business personal property.
“Whether we’re going to get … Read more >>
Betsy Russell reports: Idaho state Corrections Director Brent Reinke, who is making his budget pitch to lawmakers this morning, noted that just yesterday, he withdrew the request for a new $70 million, bond-funded secure mental health facility. “The need is … Read more >>
Molly Messick reports: Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter this morning told a crowd of county officials
he’s not sure the Legislature will be able to come up with a plan to eliminate Idaho’s personal property tax.
“Whether we’re going to … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: The debate among Idaho lawmakers started in earnest today over whether the state should create its own health insurance exchange.
At its heart, the debate is an ideological one: does Idaho work within the confines … Read more >>
Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: Two studies released this week on Idaho’s workforce show state employees make less than their counterparts in neighboring states.
The Office of Performance Evaluations and the Division of Human Resources each released studies this week focused … Read more >>