Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

After hours of testimony and a split vote, Idaho House lawmakers will consider a bill giving judges more discretion in how to sentence alleged drug traffickers.


Cesar Astudillo / Flickr

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday cracking down on slow vehicles impeding traffic on the highway.

Like the famous song, you could say Idaho residents like to live “Life In The Fast Lane.”

A fairly divided Idaho Senate voted 22 to 13 in favor of a bill making it illegal to block the flow of traffic in the fast lane for any extended period of time. Violators could face a fine of $90.

The legislation was initially introduced by  Representative Lance Clow (R-Twin Falls).

AP Photo

An Idaho Senate panel on Tuesday vacated a decision that halted a proposal to legalize oil extracted from cannabis plants because it was held after an open meeting violation.

tschoppl / Flickr

A proposal to legalize oil extracted from cannabis plants is likely dead for the year after a group of lawmakers on Monday broke out in turmoil during a last-minute attempt to advance the bill.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

State Representatives fell five votes shy of expanding the rights of crime victims in the Idaho Constitution Monday.

Alex The Shutter / Flickr

The Idaho Senate passed a resolution that could pave the way for all of the Gem State being in a single time zone. While the southern part of the state is in the Mountain Time zone, the panhandle runs on Pacific. Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene and other North Idaho cities operate on the same time as Washington.

hand gun
Stephen Velasco / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Republican senators have signed off on a bill that would expand legal cover for those who hurt or kill someone in self-defense.


AP Photo

Thursday, the Idaho Senate passed Governor Butch Otter’s massive tax cut bill on a vote of 26-9. It had already passed the House and now just needs Otter's signature to become law. The bill cut taxes for some in Idaho and creates a $130 dollar child tax credit.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho House passed a bill Thursday to force school districts to wait to run a “repeat” bond issue.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Photo

The Idaho Health Care Plan and redistricting: two of the big topics the Idaho Legislature dealt with this week.

The health care bill ground to an abrupt halt, with several Republicans calling it an expansion of Medicaid in Idaho. That move from lawmakers dealt a blow to Governor Butch Otter, who had been touting the plan around the country.

And legislators are also considering a new plan for how redistricting gets done in Idaho.

Ford DSFL / Flickr

A bill that would’ve made it illegal to operate a handheld device while driving failed to pass in the Idaho Senate following a lengthy debate.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Despite a handful competing tax bills, Gov. Butch Otter will get his $200 million tax cut proposal after all following a two-hour debate by Idaho senators.


James Dawson

It’s a brisk afternoon in January as canvassers hit Boise’s North End. Their goal? Roughly 56,000 signatures to expand access to Medicaid in Idaho.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho House panel has advanced a proposed amendment to the state's constitution to expand the rights of crime victims and their families.

Rick Bowmer / AP Images

In January, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced he wanted to create 13 distinct regions of the country, with the intention of decentralizing the D.C.-based agency.