Federal Government

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

It’s a hot August afternoon and Maria sits in a car in a Kuna parking lot. The air is on a little but the engine’s not running so it doesn’t do much good. Despite the heat Maria wears a pink sweatshirt and a matching baseball cap. Maybe this heat doesn’t seem so bad to her because she just finished several hours working in a corn field.

“Today we were dis-tasseling the corn, taking all the tassels off,” she says. “They say it helps it grow faster.”

For much of the 20th century, private and public enterprises worked as both partners and adversaries to drive economic growth in our country. But in recent years, the balance within this so-called “mixed economy” has shifted away from public investment and regulation. Today, the term “Big Government” is widely considered a pejorative – despite the role public institutions have historically played in laying the foundation for social development and prosperity.

Miguel Vieira / Flickr Creative Commons

A committee of Idaho lawmakers tasked with looking at the possibility of acquiring federal lands - and putting them under state control - has issued a report to the full Legislature. 

The committee of nine  lawmakers and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney was formed as a way to explore sentiments on the issue, and to see if there’s a legitimate way for Idaho to take over control of federal land.

Defense Department Detonates Explosives In Eastern Idaho Rock Bed

Sep 5, 2014
Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Something unusual happened Thursday near Newdale in eastern Idaho. The Department of Defense detonated more than 200 pounds of explosives deep underground near the old Teton Dam site.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, an anti-terrorism branch of the government founded in 1998, says it wanted to conduct the test to better understand how the specific rock type found in that area absorbs shock waves.

Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Update, Oct. 17, 9:23 a.m.

Associated Press:

Three of four of Idaho congressional members cast votes in opposition to the hard-fought legislation that ended the partial 16-day government shutdown and averted a potential federal default.

U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted against the bill late Wednesday, as did Rep. Raul Labrador when the House took up the compromise measure.

id.uscourts.gov

It looks like the federal government will shut down Tuesday since Congress hasn’t passed a spending bill.

It’s hard to gauge how that might impact Idaho, but the federal government is the second largest employer here, after the state itself.

About 11,750 Idahoans get paychecks from Uncle Sam and those checks total about $800 million a year. That breaks down to more than $2 million per day flowing into Idaho. But we don’t know how much of that will stop flowing for each day of a government shutdown.

Community Conversation: Idaho's Public Lands

Apr 26, 2013
Courtesy of the Idaho Statesman

More than half of Idaho’s land is considered public. These are lands that are managed by federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.  We ride horses, hike, camp and play on these lands. It’s part of what makes Idaho a great place to live.

Courtesy of I Corps, U.S. Army

Northwest military bases, universities, national labs and parks await guidance for how to implement automatic federal budget cuts. The so-called "sequester" is scheduled to take effect Friday.  The White House Sunday released a state by state report detailing the impacts of  automatic spending cuts. You can read the report on how these cuts could affect Idaho here.

The commander of U.S. military forces in the Pacific says every scenario he's contemplated for the automatic spending cuts hurts readiness. Admiral Samuel Locklear had just toured Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma on Friday. Locklear says one of the most visible impacts will be furloughs of civilian defense workers, which could start in April.

Casey Serin / Flickr

If you’re in the market for a five story office building, the federal government has one for you. The U.S. General Services Administration or GSA is selling the federal building in Moscow Idaho starting Tuesday. It currently houses courts and a post office but there is some empty space and the GSA thinks it would be more cost effective to sell the 40 year old building. Stephanie Kenitzer, a spokeswoman for the agency’s northwest/arctic region, says this is part of a national push to decrease federal property.