Government Transparency http://boisestatepublicradio.org en Idaho Governor Ombudsman Order Changed At The Last Minute http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-governor-ombudsman-order-changed-last-minute <p></p><p>Public records from Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's office show that an executive order creating a new public records ombudsman had to be scaled back at the last minute over concerns it could step on existing law.</p><p>Otter issued the executive order late last month, naming Cally Younger the new ombudsman and calling on her to create an annual report detailing public record requests and denials. The move was in response to a request from the Newspaper Association of Idaho, which wanted an option to appeal denied requests without going to court.</p> Mon, 19 May 2014 15:30:23 +0000 Associated Press 45525 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Governor Ombudsman Order Changed At The Last Minute Idaho Governor Appoints Public Records Ombudsman http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-governor-appoints-public-records-ombudsman <p></p><p>Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has appointed a public records ombudsman to review how state agencies handle records requests and to look at ways to improve Idaho's public records laws.</p><p>Cally Younger, the associate attorney for the governor's office, is filling the post, Otter announced Wednesday.</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:59:13 +0000 Associated Press 44029 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Governor Appoints Public Records Ombudsman Idaho Gets A Failing Grade For Government Transparency http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-gets-failing-grade-government-transparency <p></p><p>Idaho is one of three states with a failing grade when it comes to government transparency, <a href="http://www.uspirgedfund.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/Following%20the%20Money%20vUS%20v2_0.pdf" target="_blank">as ranked by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group</a>, a consumer interest group.</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:01:29 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 43125 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Gets A Failing Grade For Government Transparency Why It's Tough To Track What Lobbyists Give To Idaho Lawmakers http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/why-its-tough-track-what-lobbyists-give-idaho-lawmakers <p>Late last year, St. Louis Public Radio and NPR <a href="http://www.lobbyingmissouri.org/" target="_blank">launched an interactive data project</a> that lets Missouri voters see just how much money their state representative has accepted from lobbyists. It's an easy-to-navigate visual that gives people a sense of the kinds of relationships that have developed under their Capitol dome. A similar one-stop-shop of lobbying disclosure info wouldn't be possible in Idaho.</p> Thu, 30 Jan 2014 13:45:00 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 39206 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Why It's Tough To Track What Lobbyists Give To Idaho Lawmakers Washington Lawmakers Hear Pitch For Corporate Tax Disclosure http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/washington-lawmakers-hear-pitch-corporate-tax-disclosure <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2013/11/120513AJ_CorporateTaxes_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>The issue of tax transparency in Washington is getting fresh attention on the heels of a major tax deal for Boeing.<p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 22:50:00 +0000 Austin Jenkins 35899 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Washington Lawmakers Hear Pitch For Corporate Tax Disclosure Plaintiffs Say Idaho Is Stalling To Keep Juvenile Correction Department Records Secret http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/plaintiffs-say-idaho-stalling-keep-juvenile-correction-department-records-secret <p>A group of Idaho Department of Juvenile Correction employees who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the state say the agency is violating a judge's order to meet and decide which documents should be made public.</p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 20:00:08 +0000 Associated Press 35493 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Health Exchange Will Keep Taxpayer Funded Contract Review Secret http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-health-exchange-will-keep-taxpayer-funded-contract-review-secret <p>Board members of the Idaho health insurance exchange said <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_2075861393" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">Tuesday</span></span> that they will keep secret the findings of a $15,000 taxpayer-funded investigation into how one of its own members won a lucrative no-bid contract.</p><p></p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 22:05:39 +0000 Associated Press 35384 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Health Exchange Will Keep Taxpayer Funded Contract Review Secret Idaho Health Insurance Exchange Contract Canceled After Outcry http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-health-insurance-exchange-contract-canceled-after-outcry <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; line-height: 15px;">Idaho insurance exchange leaders trimmed the Internet marketplace director's power to sign lucrative deals with vendors after criticizing her move to award a former board member a no-bid contract worth up to $375,000.</span></p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; line-height: 15px;">Your Health Idaho executive director Amy Dowd now must get the board's permission for any transaction over $15,000.</p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 19:20:04 +0000 Associated Press 34284 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Health Insurance Exchange Contract Canceled After Outcry Judge Rules Against Media Groups In Hospital Case http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/judge-rules-against-media-groups-hospital-case <p>A federal judge presiding over an antitrust lawsuit between two major health care providers in Idaho has declared that testimony and documents can remain hidden from public view.</p><p>U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Tuesday after <a href="http://bit.ly/15lrqnr">the Idaho Statesman</a> and other news organizations challenged the broad shroud of secrecy approved for documents and trial testimony.</p> Wed, 09 Oct 2013 16:49:18 +0000 Associated Press 33620 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho News Groups Ask For Openness In Hospital Lawsuit http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-news-groups-ask-openness-hospital-lawsuit <p>Idaho news organizations are seeking to open court proceedings to the public by intervening in a lawsuit between two big health care providers.</p><p>On Wednesday, The Idaho Statesman in Boise, The Times-News in Twin Falls, The Associated Press, the Idaho Press-Tribune in Nampa and the Idaho Press Club asked U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill reverse a pretrial order closing the courtroom to some testimony.</p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 15:21:46 +0000 Associated Press 33324 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Judge Sides With Idaho Media In Prison Case Challenge http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/judge-sides-idaho-media-prison-case-challenge <p></p><p>A federal judge has sided with a coalition of 17 Idaho news organizations in denying a request by the state's only private prison contractor to seal whatever it wants in a lawsuit brought by a group of inmates at the prison.&nbsp;</p><p>U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge issued an order Tuesday that significantly scales back a broad protection order sought by the Corrections Corporation of America, which operates the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise.</p> Thu, 08 Aug 2013 13:22:41 +0000 Associated Press 30266 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Judge Sides With Idaho Media In Prison Case Challenge Corrections Corporation Of America Asks Judge To Bar Idaho Media From Joining Lawsuit http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/corrections-corporation-america-asks-judge-bar-idaho-media-joining-lawsuit <p>Private prison company Corrections Corporation of America is asking a federal judge to deny a request from Idaho news organizations to keep documents open in a lawsuit over conditions at a CCA-run prison.</p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 19:36:14 +0000 Associated Press 29007 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Four Idaho Websites Get National Award For Government Transparency http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/four-idaho-websites-get-national-award-government-transparency <p>Three Idaho school districts and a county have been honored for their websites. The non-profit government transparency organization Sunshine Review gave its annual <strong><a href="http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/2013_Sunny_Awards" target="_blank">Sunny Awards</a></strong> to the 247 government websites it deemed most transparent. &nbsp;</p><p>The Boise, Blaine County and Caldwell School Districts made the list. Canyon was the only Idaho county to show up.</p> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 21:48:55 +0000 Adam Cotterell 22639 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Launches Government Transparency Website http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-launches-government-transparency-website <p>In an effort to become more transparent, the state of Idaho has launched a <a href="http://transparent.idaho.gov/Pages/transhome.aspx#" target="_blank">new website</a> that details state spending and revenue. <a href="http://transparent.idaho.gov/Pages/transhome.aspx#" target="_blank">Transparent.Idaho.gov</a> was created by the state controller’s office, after the state continually received failing grades on its openness.</p><p>Last year during ‘sunshine week,’ <em>StateImpact Idaho</em> reported on two separate transparency report cards — one gave Idaho an "<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/2012/03/14/f-is-for-flunk-idaho-falls-short-in-transparency-study/" target="_blank">F</a>", the other a “<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/2012/03/19/idahos-among-the-worst-states-when-it-comes-to-government-transparency/" target="_blank">D-</a>". Thu, 10 Jan 2013 17:24:13 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 19224 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Launches Government Transparency Website Clawbacks In Connecticut: What Idaho Could Learn From How One State Handles Breaks For Business http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/clawbacks-connecticut-what-idaho-could-learn-how-one-state-handles-breaks-business <p>Every state, including Idaho, offers <a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/topic/tax-exemptions/" target="_blank" title="Your Guide To Idaho’s Tax Exemptions">tax breaks</a>, grants or subsidies to businesses in hopes of spurring economic development.</p><p>But the states vary widely in terms of what they do when a company doesn&rsquo;t create as many jobs as it agreed to, or otherwise follow through with its end of the incentive bargain.</p> Wed, 27 Jun 2012 17:36:08 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 8853 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Clawbacks In Connecticut: What Idaho Could Learn From How One State Handles Breaks For Business Companies Receive Idaho Training Grants, But Make No Long-Term Promises http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/companies-receive-idaho-training-grants-make-no-long-term-promises <p>Last month, Transform Solar&nbsp;<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/2012/05/31/volatile-solar-industry-leads-to-layoffs-in-idaho/" target="_blank" title="Volatile Solar Industry Leads To Layoffs In&nbsp;Idaho">announced that it was closing</a>&nbsp;and laying off about 250 people at its facility in Nampa. As <em>StateImpact</em> reported, the manufacturer of high-tech solar cells, had received&nbsp;<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/2012/06/01/update-transform-solar-received-1-68-million-in-state-training-grants/" target="_blank">$1.68 million in workforce training grants</a>&nbsp;from the state of Idaho &mdash; money that the company will not have to pay&nbsp;back. Mon, 25 Jun 2012 14:00:00 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 8636 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Companies Receive Idaho Training Grants, But Make No Long-Term Promises Update: Transform Solar Received $1.68 M In State Training Grants Before Announcing Layoffs http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/update-transform-solar-received-168-m-state-training-grants-announcing-layoffs <p>Earlier this week, Micron-owned Transform Solar, a maker of high-tech solar cells, <a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/jp/idahos-transform-solar-to-close-laying-off-250-people/" target="_blank" title="Idaho’s Transform Solar To Close, Laying Off 250 People">announced it&rsquo;s closing</a> and laying-off at least 250 people over the next three months.</p> Fri, 01 Jun 2012 15:53:44 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 7337 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Update: Transform Solar Received $1.68 M In State Training Grants Before Announcing Layoffs What Some States Do To Disclose Tax Incentive Info http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/what-some-states-do-disclose-tax-incentive-info <p>A recent report from Pew Center on the States lists Idaho among 26 states &lsquo;trailing behind<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/2012/04/13/study-idaho-trailing-behind-on-measuring-tax-incentive-effectiveness/" target="_blank" title="Study: Idaho ‘Trailing Behind’ On Measuring Tax Incentive Effectiveness">&rsquo;</a> when it comes to evaluating tax incentives.&nbsp; That is, having a mechanism in place to take a closer look at the state-specific incentives and exemptions on a regular basis, and to evaluate if they&rsquo;re doing what they were intended to do.&nbsp; In most cases, t Fri, 04 May 2012 20:22:54 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 5528 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org What Some States Do To Disclose Tax Incentive Info Q&A: Who Gets Idaho's Tax Breaks? Why Details Are In The Dark http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/qa-who-gets-idahos-tax-breaks-why-details-are-dark <p><em>StateImpact Idaho</em> has rolled out a series of stories this week on tax incentive transparency in Idaho.&nbsp; That is, what is and isn&rsquo;t public information when it comes to business tax credits and exemptions.&nbsp;</p><p>Almost always, tax incentives are created in the name of economic development.&nbsp; But in Idaho, little information is available about whether these incentives create jobs and grow companies.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 04 May 2012 13:30:00 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders & Scott Graf 5461 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Q&A: Who Gets Idaho's Tax Breaks? Why Details Are In The Dark Open Government Advocate: Tax Incentive Details Should Be Public Info http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/open-government-advocate-tax-incentive-details-should-be-public-info <p><em>Good Jobs First is a non-partisan, non-profit government transparency advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.&nbsp; It was founded in 1998 by Greg LeRoy, who is now executive director. LeRoy has been studying tax incentive transparency for more than two decades.&nbsp; We recently spoke with him to learn more about what he considers &lsquo;transparent enough,&rsquo; and what states are doing to open incentive information to the public.&nbsp;</em></p> Thu, 03 May 2012 19:10:08 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 5453 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Open Government Advocate: Tax Incentive Details Should Be Public Info