Idaho Politics

Boise State Public Radio

Leaders in the Idaho Legislature are assembling a working group to examine ethics and financial disclosure requirements in the state.

Idaho is one of just three states requiring no financial disclosures for state legislators, other elected officials, and government appointees. So-called “revolving door” laws that prevent officials from immediately hopping into similar roles in the private sector – those too are absent.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The field of candidates for Idaho’s Lt. Governor has again increased. There are now five GOP hopefuls seeking the position.

The former chairman of the state’s Republican Party, Steve Yates, is the most recent to throw a hat in the ring for Lt. Governor. The businessman from eastern Idaho previously served as an aid to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Samantha Wright/BSPR

Update 10:34 a.m. Thursday: Former Republican Lt. Governor David Leroy has filed paperwork to run for Labrador's seat. He is the first candidate to enter the race.

Earlier this week Republican Rep. Raul Labrador filed paperwork to run for Idaho governor, ending a long period of speculation about whether he would jump into the race. Now, political wonks are turning their attention to who might seek his congressional seat. 

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

After months of speculation, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador walked into the Idaho Secretary of State's office Tuesday morning and signed the paperwork to start his run for governor.

Idaho March for Science Facebook

Thousands plan to attend the national March for Science that takes place Saturday in Washington D.C. In Boise, Austin Hopkins is one of the people planning an Idaho version of the march.

Hopkins -- who is with Idaho Conservation League -- hopes Saturday’s march furthers a dialogue between politics and science in Idaho.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

The state legislature wrapped up Wednesday afternoon, less than a week after leadership had hoped to adjourn.

The minority party went into this legislative session on its heels after losing four seats in the November election. Out of 105 House and Senate members, only 17 were Democrats.

Charlie Litchfield / AP

The Idaho Legislature closed up shop and went home Wednesday. The session went five days longer than leadership had anticipated.

The session was notable for a few bills, including transportation funding and tax cuts, which were sticking points at the end of the session. Lawmakers also didn’t find a solution for the 78,000 Idahoans who fall in the Medicaid gap and don’t have health insurance.

Boise State Public Radio

Tommy Ahlquist is the third Republican to throw his hat in the race to be Idaho’s governor. He made his bid official Tuesday by filing the requisite paperwork for the 2018 race.

A member of the LDS church, Ahlquist is the Chief Operating Officer of the Gardner Company – the developer who has helped revitalized downtown Boise. Before working for Gardner, he was an emergency room doctor for almost two decades.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Images

We checked in with a few voters in Boise right after President Donald Trump's speech Tuesday night.

Republican Tyler Ricks actually voted for libertarian Gary Johnson last November. He wasn’t convinced candidate Trump would bring real change to Washington. But Ricks says he was happy to hear the president sound more – well – presidential.

“It was more calm," says Ricks. "And I think that came across – you know that he does truly care about Americans.”

He says Trump’s speech spoke to him directly.

Boise Police Department Cop Car
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

A bipartisan bill to reform civil asset forfeiture rules is making its way through the Statehouse. Civil asset forfeiture is typically used by law enforcement to seize property in drug cases to keep profits from those illicit transactions out of the hands of drug dealers.

screenshot / YouTube

After this week’s resignation of retired General Mike Flynn as President Trump’s National Security Adviser, Democrats on Capitol Hill called for an investigation.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho House overwhelmingly approved a $51 million tax cut plan Thursday despite hesitation from Republican and Democratic lawmakers unhappy with the deal.

 

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) is sponsoring the bill, and says the state’s current surplus means Idaho should give a little money back to tax payers. If the bill passes, the first $750 of income would be exempt from taxation, and the top income and corporate rates would be reduced from 7.4 percent to 7.2 percent.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Entrance Steps
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

As we wrap up the fourth week of the Idaho Legislature, lawmakers have been bringing forward more bills, covering issues from tax breaks to hunting and fishing fees.

One bill that came up this week was a preemptive move by some state lawmakers who want to keep so-called "Sanctuary Cities" out of Idaho. Boise State University Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief says it’s indicative of the power that some state legislatures have over their largest cities.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Social media requests to flood the phone lines of Idaho’s congressional delegation seem to be working. Over the weekend, the voicemail inboxes of Idaho Sen. Jim Risch and Sen. Mike Crapo were full.

According to Crapo communications director Lindsay Nothern, the Boise office was fielding calls from Idahoans all Monday morning. Nothern says he personally took dozens of calls.

capitol, JFAC
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Legislature is ramping up its third week of the 2017 session.

This week, lawmakers are considering tax reductions in a surplus budget year. They’re also considering tweaking election rules when it comes to running for office. And the legislature’s budget writers, the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, or JFAC as it’s known, is hearing budget requests from state agencies.

In this week’s 2017 Weekly Legislative Update, Boise State University Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief says the real work of the session is getting underway.

Pages