Policy http://boisestatepublicradio.org en ACLU-Idaho Executive Director Leaving For Washington D.C. http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/aclu-idaho-executive-director-leaving-washington-dc <p>The executive director of the ACLU of Idaho has been hired for the same post at the ACLU in Washington, D.C.</p><p>Monica Hopkins has led the Idaho ACLU affiliate since 2008. During her tenure the organization has pushed for improved safety and health conditions for Idaho inmates, lobbied for ordinances in seven Idaho cities to prevent discrimination against gay and transgender residents, and pushed for free speech protections for protesters on state property.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:31:12 +0000 Associated Press 43533 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Meet Two Couples Suing To Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal In Idaho http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/meet-two-couples-suing-make-same-sex-marriage-legal-idaho <p></p><p>Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson have been together for three years. Within the last six months they've become the public face of an effort to strike down Idaho's constitutional ban on gay marriage. At home, they're like many other couples playing with their dogs on the back patio.</p><p>“Charlie's the corgi,” Amber says. “Then we’ve got the Labradoodle Boozer. And Georgia is the basset hound.” Add in Herman, the big orange cat, and that’s their family -- so far. The two have planned on having kids ever since they got together more than three years ago.</p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:35:00 +0000 Adam Cotterell 43160 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Meet Two Couples Suing To Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal In Idaho 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 Idaho Asks Judge To Toss Lawsuit On So-Called 'Ag-Gag' Law http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-asks-judge-toss-lawsuit-so-called-ag-gag-law <p></p><p>Attorneys for Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a new law that makes it illegal to secretly film animal abuse at agricultural facilities.</p><p>A coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and others sued last month, asking U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to strike down what they call an "ag gag" law. The coalition contends the law curtails freedom of speech and makes gathering proof of animal abuse a crime with a harsher punishment than the penalty for animal cruelty itself.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 18:09:59 +0000 Associated Press 43065 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Asks Judge To Toss Lawsuit On So-Called 'Ag-Gag' Law Idaho Sheriff Offers Free Concealed Carry Course http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-sheriff-offers-free-concealed-carry-course <p></p><p>The Cassia County Sheriff's Office in south-central Idaho is offering free instruction for enhanced concealed carry gun permits.</p><p>Sheriff Jay Heward <a href="http://bit.ly/1lzUkt9">tells The Times-News</a> that so many residents are interested he decided to offer the eight-hour class for free.</p><p>The course taken elsewhere can cost $150. The enhanced permit is honored in Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, Virginia and South Carolina.</p><p>The course includes safety instruction and requires each student to shoot 100 rounds on a gun range under the instruction of police.</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:39:14 +0000 Associated Press 42722 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Sheriff Offers Free Concealed Carry Course Idaho's 2014 Legislative Session Ends After 74 Days http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-2014-legislative-session-ends-after-74-days <p></p><p>The Idaho Legislature has wrapped up for the year after appropriating $2.9 billion.</p><p>The session lasted only 74 days — that's two weeks fewer than last year's session and only five days longer than the record shortest session in 2004.</p><p>Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis commended his fellow lawmakers as their final day on the floor drew to a close.</p><p>Senators also regaled the gallery with the state song and "God Bless America" before adjourning for the last time.</p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 03:05:49 +0000 Associated Press 42096 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's 2014 Legislative Session Ends After 74 Days Why Medical Marijuana Legalization Has No Traction In Idaho http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/why-medical-marijuana-legalization-has-no-traction-idaho <p>Four of Idaho's six neighboring states allow some form of legal marijuana use. Oregon, Nevada and Montana allow medical marijuana while Washington recently legalized pot for most residents. In each of those states, <a href="http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881" target="_blank">voters approved legalizing marijuana</a>, but in Idaho, the issue has gotten nowhere.</p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:57:42 +0000 Adam Cotterell 41941 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Why Medical Marijuana Legalization Has No Traction In Idaho ACLU, PETA Sue Idaho Over New Law To Punish Animal Rights Activists http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/aclu-peta-sue-idaho-over-new-law-punish-animal-rights-activists <p>The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, PETA and other groups are suing the state over a new measure that would prosecute people who secretly film agricultural operations. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter <a href="http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/governor-otter-signs-idahos-ag-gag-bill">signed the so-called 'ag-gag' bill into law</a> at the end of February.</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 16:12:29 +0000 Adam Cotterell 41844 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org ACLU, PETA Sue Idaho Over New Law To Punish Animal Rights Activists Some States Working To Negate Federal Food Stamp Cutbacks http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/some-states-working-negate-federal-food-stamp-cutbacks <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/03/031314TB_HeatEat_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>In Olympia, Washington policymakers are pondering whether to make an end run around looming cutbacks in the federally-funded food stamp program.<p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:47:00 +0000 Tom Banse 41682 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Some States Working To Negate Federal Food Stamp Cutbacks Group Of GOP Lawmakers Say Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Is Consistent With Western Values http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/group-gop-lawmakers-say-legalizing-same-sex-marriage-consistent-western-values <p>A group of current and former Republican lawmakers say they support making same-sex marriage legal in Utah and Oklahoma because it's consistent with Western conservative values of freedom and liberty.</p><p>A group that includes former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas plan to file a friend of the court brief Tuesday to a federal appeals court in Denver that is reviewing same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma.</p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 19:08:17 +0000 Associated Press 41130 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Chobani CEO Urges Gov. Otter To Veto Idaho's 'Ag-Gag' Bill http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/chobani-ceo-urges-gov-otter-veto-idahos-ag-gag-bill <p>Food processing heavyweight Chobani is urging Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to veto a bill that would make penalties stricter for animal rights activists caught secretly filming Idaho agriculture facilities.</p><p>Chobani, which operates a huge Greek yogurt facility in Twin Falls, buys its milk from Idaho dairymen. <a href="http://www.sys-con.com/node/2991958">In a press release</a>, Chobani CEO Hamdi <span class="xn-person">Ulukaya</span> says if passed, the measure would limit transparency.</p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 17:58:05 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 40950 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Chobani CEO Urges Gov. Otter To Veto Idaho's 'Ag-Gag' Bill In Wake Of Arizona Veto, Similar Measures Considered In Northwest http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/wake-arizona-veto-similar-measures-considered-northwest <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/02/022714CL_measures_web2.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Amidst the debate over the now-vetoed Arizona bill that would have protected businesses that refuse to serve gays and others for religious reasons, gay rights groups in the Northwest say similar legislation could surface here.</span><p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 14:09:00 +0000 Chris Lehman 40943 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org In Wake Of Arizona Veto, Similar Measures Considered In Northwest Idaho College Students, Faculty Plan Walkout Against Guns On Campus Bill http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-college-students-faculty-plan-walkout-against-guns-campus-bill <p>A coalition of Idaho college students, faculty, and law enforcement <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/543268465788795/" target="_blank">will rally at the Capitol at 12:30 Thursday</a> against a proposal that would allow some to carry concealed guns on university campuses.</p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 04:03:46 +0000 Adam Cotterell 40867 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho College Students, Faculty Plan Walkout Against Guns On Campus Bill Idaho House Approves $2 Million Plan To Kill Wolves http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-house-approves-2-million-plan-kill-wolves <p></p><p>Lawmakers voted 49-16 to direct $2 million to help kill problem wolves, over objections from Democrats who say it's a poor use of the money.</p><p>Friday's vote sends the measure, backed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and livestock producers, to the Senate.</p><p>Idaho has 118 packs and 680 wolves, according to 2012 figures.</p><p>This wolf control fund's proponents argue existing measures by federal trappers and hunters aren't enough to tackle wolves that prey on sheep, cattle and elk herds coveted by hunters.</p><p>This fund will help pick up the slack.</p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 19:34:58 +0000 Associated Press 40575 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho House Approves $2 Million Plan To Kill Wolves CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/cbo-minimum-wage-hike-could-boost-paychecks-and-cut-jobs Whatever you already believed about raising the federal minimum wage, you now have more ammo for your argument, thanks to a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, titled <a href="http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf">"The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income."</a><p>Yes, you're right: Raising the wage in steps to $10.10 an hour by 2016 would push employers to cut jobs — about 500,000 of them, says the CBO, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress.<p>And yes, you're right: The proposed raise would lift n Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:23:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 40403 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org CBO: Minimum Wage Hike Could Boost Paychecks – And Cut Jobs Idaho House Dumps Unconstitutional Capitol Protest Rules http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-house-dumps-unconstitutional-capitol-protest-rules <p></p><p>A House panel ended the state's bid to appeal a federal judge's decision that rules governing protests at the Capitol are unconstitutional.</p><p>The House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday voted to reject rules that, among other things, had sought to limit protest duration and give special treatment to state events.</p><p>They were crafted in the wake of the "Occupy Boise" protests of 2011 and 2012.</p><p>But U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill decided the rules violated constitutional free speech protections last year.</p> Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:57:26 +0000 Associated Press 40369 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho House Dumps Unconstitutional Capitol Protest Rules Why Are Democrats Suddenly Talking About Minimum Wage? http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/why-are-democrats-suddenly-talking-about-minimum-wage <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/02/021414AJ_MinimumWage_web.mp3" class="asset-audio">It&#039;s No Accident Democrats Are Suddenly Talking About Minimum Wage</a><p>We’re hearing a lot these days about raising the minimum wage.<p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 16:55:00 +0000 Austin Jenkins 40326 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Why Are Democrats Suddenly Talking About Minimum Wage? Faith Healing Exemption Gets Scrutiny In Washington Legislature http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/faith-healing-exemption-gets-scrutiny-washington-legislature <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/02/020614AJ_FaithExemption_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>Christian Scientists who treat their sick children with faith healing, instead of medical care, have special protection under Washington law. But that could soon change.<p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 23:07:00 +0000 Austin Jenkins 39774 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Dairies Want To Stop Activists From Filming http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-dairies-want-stop-activists-filming <p></p><p>Idaho's $2.5 billion dairy industry wants to put people who film their operations surreptitiously in jail for up to a year, a bid to block animal-rights groups from spying on farms in hopes of catching animal cruelty on tape.</p><p>Sen. Jim Patrick of Twin Falls Thursday introduced the measure on the heels of videos produced in 2012 by a group at one of Idaho's largest dairies documenting cows being beaten.</p><p>If the measure passes, anybody who enters an agricultural production facility without permission and records operations could face a year behind bars and a $5,000 fine.</p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 19:16:29 +0000 Associated Press 39748 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho Dairies Want To Stop Activists From Filming 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