Politics + Policy http://boisestatepublicradio.org en Court Denies Survivor Benefits For Families Of Fallen Contract Wildland Firefighters http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/court-denies-survivor-benefits-families-fallen-contract-wildland-firefighters <p></p><p>Contract firefighters can often be found on the front lines. They’re usually indistinguishable from government firefighters. But a recent court ruling has re-emphasized that if they’re killed in the line of duty, there’s a big difference.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:54:02 +0000 Austin Jenkins 49785 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Court Denies Survivor Benefits For Families Of Fallen Contract Wildland Firefighters Northwest Farmers Worried About Visa Backup For Legal Migrant Workers http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/northwest-farmers-worried-about-visa-backup-legal-migrant-workers <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/07/073014TB_NoVisas_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>A breakdown in a&#160;U.S. State Department&#160;computer system that processes foreign worker visas has sowed major worries at some Northwest orchards.<p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:19:00 +0000 Tom Banse 49763 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Northwest Farmers Worried About Visa Backup For Legal Migrant Workers Idaho Scales Back Claim Of Problems At Prison http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-scales-back-claim-problems-prison <p>Idaho Department of Correction officials have dramatically scaled back their assessment of the problems encountered when they took over the state's largest prison from Corrections Corporation of America this month.</p><p>Last week, Shane Evans with IDOC told the Board of Correction that CCA failed to leave behind a promised 8-day supply of medication, and that the new health care provider had to ship $100,000 worth of medication overnight just to reach the minimum amount needed at the facility.</p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:13:34 +0000 Associated Press 49750 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org As Wildfires Burn Through Funds, Washington Seeks New Way To Pay http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/wildfires-burn-through-funds-washington-seeks-new-way-pay Though wildfires this summer have burned hundreds of homes and scorched thousands of square miles of land in Washington, Oregon and California, officials say that so far, this wildfire season could be worse.<p>But the cost of fighting those fires has skyrocketed, and the Obama administration and some in Congress say it's time to rethink how those dollars are spent.<p>In places like central Washington, watching the evening news has recently not been for the faint of heart, with daily broadcasts chronicling evacuations of local towns with the approach of "firestorms."<p>The fire there is still n Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Brian Naylor 49746 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org As Wildfires Burn Through Funds, Washington Seeks New Way To Pay Idaho's GOP Doesn't Have A Leader, Here's What Happens Next http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-gop-doesnt-have-leader-heres-what-happens-next <p>A <a href="http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/judge-rules-peterson-no-longer-chairman-idahos-republican-party" target="_blank">judge ruled Tuesday</a> that members of Idaho's Republican Party could go ahead with a meeting Saturday to choose a new leader. Last month’s contentious state GOP convention ended without finishing any of its business, including electing a new chairman.</p><p>Former chairman Barry Peterson maintained that meant he was still in charge. But district judge Randy Stoker ruled that Peterson is not the chairman, and the party doesn't currently have a leader.</p> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:50:46 +0000 Adam Cotterell 49698 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's GOP Doesn't Have A Leader, Here's What Happens Next House Panel Condemns Obama For Bergdahl Prisoner Swap http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/house-panel-condemns-obama-bergdahl-prisoner-swap <p>A House panel has voted to condemn President Barack Obama for the May swap of five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years.</p><p>The Armed Services Committee voted 34-25 on Tuesday for a nonbinding, bipartisan resolution that disapproves of the exchange and faults Obama for failing to notify Congress 30 days in advance, as required by law.</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:10:29 +0000 Associated Press 49685 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Longtime Political Reporter Popkey To Head Idaho Congressman's Press Team http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/longtime-political-reporter-popkey-head-idaho-congressmans-press-team <p></p><p></p><p>Longtime Idaho political reporter Dan Popkey is leaving his job at the <em>Idaho Statesman</em> to be Rep. Raul Labrador's new press secretary.</p><p>A press release from the Republican Congressman's office Tuesday says Popkey will be based in Meridian, and coordinate communications for Idaho and Washington, D.C.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:06:07 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 49669 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Longtime Political Reporter Popkey To Head Idaho Congressman's Press Team Judge Rules Peterson Is No Longer Chairman Of Idaho's Republican Party http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/judge-rules-peterson-no-longer-chairman-idahos-republican-party <p></p><p>Barry Peterson is no longer the chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, that's the ruling from 5th District Judge Randy Stoker.</p><blockquote><p>“His term has expired,” Stoker told the court.</p><p></p><p>The judge’s ruling came after extensive arguments that lasted for more than two hours in court this morning in Twin Falls.</p><p>“This is not a question of this court taking any position with regard to what the Republican Party should do in this state,” Stoker said. “I have no dog in this fight, so to speak.” - Spokesman-Review</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:46:59 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 49659 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Judge Rules Peterson Is No Longer Chairman Of Idaho's Republican Party Gov. Otter Didn't Know 8 Immigrant Children Have Been Sent To Idaho In Border Surge http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/gov-otter-didnt-know-8-immigrant-children-have-been-sent-idaho-border-surge <p></p><p><em>This post was updated at 10:00 a.m. July 25, 2014.</em></p><p>This week, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter <a href="http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/gov-otter-tells-federal-officials-not-send-migrant-kids-idaho" target="_blank">sent a letter to federal officials</a> telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.</p><p>However, federal officials say they've already sent children from the border to Idaho.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:16:25 +0000 Associated Press & Emilie Ritter Saunders 49430 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Gov. Otter Didn't Know 8 Immigrant Children Have Been Sent To Idaho In Border Surge Gov. Otter Tells Federal Officials Not To Send Migrant Kids To Idaho http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/gov-otter-tells-federal-officials-not-send-migrant-kids-idaho <p></p><p>Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.</p><p>Otter on Wednesday sent the letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez.</p><p>Idaho has not been contacted by federal officials about bringing any of the children to Idaho.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:20:47 +0000 Associated Press 49406 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Gov. Otter Tells Federal Officials Not To Send Migrant Kids To Idaho Idaho Woman Appeals NSA Surveillance Lawsuit http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-woman-appeals-nsa-surveillance-lawsuit <p></p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are joining in a northern Idaho's woman appeal over the National Security Agency's collection of cell phone information.</p><p>Anna Smith of Coeur d'Alene sued the NSA last year, contending that the agency's collection of the data amounts to an illegal search and seizure. In June, U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill dismissed her lawsuit, and now Smith is appealing the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:02:47 +0000 Associated Press 49204 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Woman Appeals NSA Surveillance Lawsuit Gay Rights Protesters Arrested At Idaho's Capitol To Be Sentenced http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/gay-rights-protesters-arrested-idahos-capitol-be-sentenced <p></p><p></p><p>During the legislative session, <a href="http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/44-gay-rights-activists-arrested-idaho-capitol" target="_blank">dozens of people protested</a> inside and outside the Idaho Capitol against discrimination. Monday is their chance to stand up in court and say why they did it.</p> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Samantha Wright 49072 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Gay Rights Protesters Arrested At Idaho's Capitol To Be Sentenced A Look At Where Gay Marriage Laws Stand Across The U.S., Idaho http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/look-where-gay-marriage-laws-stand-across-us-idaho <p></p><p>State same-sex marriage bans have been falling around the country since June 2013, when the nation's highest court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The remaining state bans all face legal challenges to overturn them.</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 19:52:02 +0000 Associated Press 49078 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org A Look At Where Gay Marriage Laws Stand Across The U.S., Idaho Idaho Defends Fetal Pain Abortion Law In Court http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-defends-fetal-pain-abortion-law-court <p>Idaho attorneys say a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy should be reversed because criminal charges against the eastern Idaho woman who filed the initial lawsuit had been dismissed.</p><p>The Idaho attorney general's office also told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, on Friday that the attorney who intervened on her behalf didn't have legal standing.</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 19:03:03 +0000 Associated Press 49076 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's GOP Leader Sues For Party Control http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-gop-leader-sues-party-control <p></p><p>Idaho's Republican Party infighting may be solved in court.</p><p>The leader of Idaho's Republican Party has filed a lawsuit against two members of his own party who called an Aug. 2 meeting of the GOP Central Committee after the group left its state convention without voting on a platform or new leaders.</p><p>Chairman Barry Peterson has called for an Aug. 9 meeting.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:27:34 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 49029 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's GOP Leader Sues For Party Control Idaho's Eccentric Political Candidate Harley Brown Gets Reality TV Deal http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-eccentric-political-candidate-harley-brown-gets-reality-tv-deal <p></p><p></p><p>Well, it happened. Idaho's very own gubernatorial debate superstar Harley Brown has inked a TV deal, <a href="http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/coming-soon-to-a-reality-tv-show-near-you-harley-brown/Content?oid=3151708" target="_blank">according to the Boise Weekly</a>.</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:18:28 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 48946 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's Eccentric Political Candidate Harley Brown Gets Reality TV Deal Coeur d'Alene Lost $1.5 Million Crisis Center After Regional Lawmakers Opposed Project http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/coeur-dalene-lost-15-million-crisis-center-after-regional-lawmakers-opposed-project <p>Northern Idaho lawmakers opposing a bill to fund three mental health crisis centers is part of the reason Coeur d'Alene didn't get a $1.5 million behavioral-health crisis center.</p><p>Information obtained by the <a href="http://bit.ly/1jxuOVR" target="_blank">Coeur d'Alene Press</a> through a public records request shows that a committee gave the city a higher score than winner Idaho Falls.</p><p>But criteria also included lawmaker support, which the center attained in eastern Idaho.</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:46:53 +0000 Associated Press 48926 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Ends Budget Year With More Cash Than Planned http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-ends-budget-year-more-cash-planned <p></p><p>State officials say Idaho closed the 2014 fiscal year with $7.2 million more than anticipated.</p><p>The Idaho Division of Financial Management reports that June's general fund receipts of $294.4 million were $8.4 million above economists' projections. Overall, last month's boost helped raise the final fiscal year totals to $2.81 billion.</p><p>That means general fund dollars went up 2.4 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.</p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:41:17 +0000 Associated Press 48891 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Ends Budget Year With More Cash Than Planned Idaho Endowment Fund Hits Record $1.7 Billion http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-endowment-fund-hits-record-17-billion <p>Idaho's endowment fund hit a record high of $1.73 billion after earning high returns on its investments over the past year.</p><p>Investment manager Larry Johnson told the Idaho Land Board on Tuesday that the fund during the fiscal year that ended June 30 earned its second-highest amount in its history.</p><p>This is also the second year in a row the fund hit an all-time high.</p><p>That means there will be an increase in how much the fund can distribute to public schools and other endowment beneficiaries.</p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:27:01 +0000 Associated Press 48863 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org The Constitution Might Have Something To Say When Police Shoot Dogs http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/constitution-might-have-something-say-when-police-shoot-dogs <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/07/071114JR_DogShootings_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>A handful of recent incidents where police have shot pet dogs in Idaho have angered animal rights advocates. One dog owner in the small town of Filer has issued notice that he intends to sue the city over the death of his dog, Hooch.<p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:37:00 +0000 Jessica Robinson 48689 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org The Constitution Might Have Something To Say When Police Shoot Dogs