Associated Press

Tanning
Evil Erin / Flickr Creative Commons

A House panel is endorsing a bill that would require teens to get permission from their parents in order to use a tanning bed.

The House Health and Welfare Committee unanimously passed the legislation Wednesday.

The bill requires parental permission for children ages 14 to 17. Children under age 14 would be banned from tanning beds completely.

Steven Mings, a dermatologist in Boise, told lawmakers that the ultraviolet rays in tanning beds are directly linked to the causes of skin cancer.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed into law a bill approving $3.64 million in emergency funding for Idaho's faltering broadband program.

The stopgap measure Otter approved Wednesday allows school districts to negotiate their own broadband contracts for the rest of this school year to replace the Idaho Education Network system.

The emergency fix comes after a district judge voided Idaho's $60 million broadband contract, creating the potential loss of broadband access to nearly 200 public high schools across the state.

Dainel Lee / Flickr

The chairman of the House State Affairs Committee says his family and the families of other committee members are being harassed by backers of a proposed law to allow Idaho residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Republican Tom Loertscher of Iona on Tuesday on the House floor said his and the home phone numbers of other committee members are being published.

But Loertscher says the lawmakers are at the Statehouse so family members are getting the calls in what he says is a "new low," and he is asking the callers to "cease and desist."

A new measure backed by Idaho Power Co. would allow business owners to resell public utility electricity to electric car drivers.

The House State Affairs Committee voted Tuesday to introduce a bill permitting companies to buy the electricity from a public utility and then resell it to charge electric car batteries.

Rich Hahn from Idaho Power says that current state law prevents reselling electricity provided by a public utility. This means businesses are footing the bill for having electric car charging stations.

Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

The question Monday from Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

A proposal that would approve $3.6 million in emergency funding for Idaho's faltering broadband program is headed to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's desk for his signature.

The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/1JDJkrh) reports that the Idaho Senate unanimously voted Monday to approve the stopgap proposal. The legislation would require school districts to negotiate their own broadband contracts for the rest of this school year.

Classroom
Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

A legislative panel is backing a bill that would let Idaho's Education Department contract with private companies for education programs, and then only pay once the programs are shown to work.

The House Education Committee unanimously approved the plan, dubbed "Pay for Success," on Monday.

Sen. Bob Nonini from Coeur d'Alene sponsored the legislation. He says Idaho would not have to pay any money unless an independent evaluator decides the educational pilot program has met its goals under the contract.

Usually, the state funds pilot programs with its own money.

A group of University of Idaho law school students is backing legislation that would remove Idaho's copyright on its state laws and make them part of the public domain.

The House Health and Welfare committee unanimously voted to introduce the bill Friday.

Rep. Luke Malek from Coeur d'Alene says the public should have easy access to law ignorance if ignorance is no excuse for breaking state statutes.

The students argue that the only way to get a copy of law is to pay for it. The state's free online version is not official.

Kyle Green
Courtesy Idaho Statesman

Boise State University football coach Bryan Harsin has a new contract that pays him $6.25 million over five years.

The Idaho State Board or Education on Thursday approved the deal for Harsin who in his first season last year guided the Broncos to a 12-2 record and a Fiesta Bowl win.

The new deal replaces a previous contract that awarded Harsin a one-year extension for winning nine or more games.

The new agreement awards a one-year extension for eight or more wins.

Reports from a state investigator and three staffers at an Idaho prison suggest that inmates' medical records may have been intentionally changed or destroyed in violation of a federal court order.

If the reports from three staffers and an Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses investigator are accurate, the state corrections agency could be at risk of years of sanctions from a federal judge, including years of additional oversight by the court.

A legislative panel is recommending that a 151-year-old Idaho law on duels be repealed.

The House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee unanimously voted Thursday to eliminate the last remaining reference to dueling in Idaho law.

The rule — on the books since Idaho's very first legislature as a territory — gives the Gem State jurisdiction over out-of-state duels if a person involved dies in Idaho.

Michael Kane from the Idaho Sheriffs' Association called the rule completely obsolete.

The head of Idaho's Senate Education Committee says a highly anticipated plan to boost teacher pay will be revealed soon.

Republican Sen. Dean Mortimer of Idaho Falls told the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee Wednesday that he believes the bill is coming together but stakeholders are still figuring out key details.

Mortimer did not specify what have been the sources of contention. Mortimer also shied away from telling budget writers how much the state's education budget should increase on behalf of his committee.

Authorities in southwest Idaho have identified the man shot and killed by a Boise police officer.

The Ada County Coroner's Office in a statement Tuesday says 26-year-old Michael K. Casper of Boise died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Authorities say Officer Jason Green fired at Casper after Casper pointed a weapon at another officer.

Green has been placed on leave, and the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force is investigating.

Governor John Kitzhaber

This post was updated at 1:26 p.m.

Long-time Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has announced his resignation amid allegations his fiancee used her relationship with him to enrich herself.

Kitzhaber said his resignation would be effective on Wednesday. In a statement on Friday, he apologized to the people who helped him get re-elected in November and supported him for the past three decades.

He said it was not in his nature to "walk away from a job I have undertaken."

Idaho Capitol Senate
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

The Senate State Affairs Committee has introduced a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons outside city limits in Idaho without a permit.

Republican Sen. Marv Hagedorn from Meridian told the panel Friday that his bill would also remove a rule that lets state legislators carry concealed guns without a permit.

Currently, Idahoans are allowed to hunt or fish without a concealed weapons permit.

Some lawmakers asked whether the bill would limit property owners' rights to restrict guns on their property. Hagedorn told them it wouldn't.

Idaho doctors performing abortions would have to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital under a recently introduced bill.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted to introduce the bill Thursday.

Republican Sen. Lee Heider, who is sponsoring the bill, argues it's a common-sense measure because it better protects women's health in the event of a botched abortion.

Heider added that similar legislation has already passed in 16 states.

Mike Crapo
U.S. Senate

A bill to renew federal subsidies to timber counties has been filed in the Senate.

The Secure Rural Schools program made up for federal timber revenues that declined as environmental protections reduced national forest logging, but it expired last year. Efforts to renew it failed in the lame-duck session of Congress.

The latest version was filed Thursday by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden and Idaho Republican Mike Crapo.

sage grouse, wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

Spending on a government-sponsored initiative to help struggling sage grouse populations in the West is projected to exceed $750 million by 2018.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday the money will conserve an estimated 8 million acres of sage grouse habitat. Federal officials are more than halfway to that goal since starting the Sage Grouse Initiative in 2010.

The chicken-sized birds are found in 11 Western states. They're being considered for federal protections after their numbers plummeted in recent decades.

A House committee has advanced to the full Idaho House a bill aimed at eliminating federal Clean Water Act protections for suction dredges and also opening Wild and Scenic Rivers to the miners.

The bill before the House Resources and Conservation Committee on Wednesday narrowly avoided dying in committee amid constitutionality concerns with a first vote that ended in a 9-9 tie.

The committee than approved by voice vote sending the bill the full House but with an amendment.

student, desk, classroom
BionicTeaching / Flickr Creative Commons

A district judge says Idaho's troubled broadband contract is void, clarifying a ruling made in November.

Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen submitted his final ruling Thursday as a response to the Idaho Department of Administration seeking reconsideration on the $60 million broadband contract. The program provides broadband access to Idaho's public schools. 

Owen voided the contract late last year after finding the state violated its own procurement laws. However, the state appealed to determine if the entire contract was illegal or only portions that had been amended.

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