Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

AP

An opening on the Idaho Supreme Court won't be filled through an election but through an application process.

Supreme Court Justice Daniel Eismann announced earlier this year he will retire in August — 16 months before the end of his current six-year term.

Tom Banse

There will be a "teach-in" Thursday, April 26 at noon at the Boise State University library. That's a lesson followed by open discussion.

If that sounds like a throwback to an earlier time, it is. But the topic is very present day - it's about the new energy policy of the Trump administration. It's sponsored by the Center for Idaho History and Politics and it's being presented by Jen Schneider, an associate professor in the School of Public Service. 

Facebook

It was another marathon session for Congressman Raul Labrador at his second town hall event in a week. The Idaho Republican took questions for over two and a half hours.

Labrador’s event Monday night in Nampa at Mission Aviation Fellowship was smaller than the first one held in Meridian. Around 350 people filled a meeting room at MAF as opposed to the almost thousand constituents that filled an auditorium April 19.

Paul B / Flickr

We’re only midway through spring, but motorists should plan ahead as they drive across the state this summer. Magic Valley roadways will see lots of construction in the upcoming season.

The terrain of the Magic Valley may change heading through Jerome, Twin Falls and Burley, but a constant companion along the drive this summer will be orange cones.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

A combative and sometimes angry crowd challenged Republican Rep. Raul Labrador during his town hall Wednesday night.

Labrador answered questions about everything from Planned Parenthood to public lands. At one point, he was asked whether he believes health care is a human right, to which the crowd responded with loud boos.  

“So no I do not believe that health care is a basic right," says Labrador. "When something is a right it’s something that must be provided by the government.”

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Secretary of State Denney
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney says he's running for re-election in 2018.

Denney announced that he plans on running for another four-year term Wednesday. Currently, no other candidate is running for the seat.

Denney, a Republican, was first elected to the position in 2014 after serving nearly 20 years in the Idaho Legislature — including being a former House Speaker for three terms.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

A group of 30 lawmakers, including some legislative leaders, are urging the Idaho Supreme Court to overturn a nearly 40-year-old ruling on when the governor can veto a bill.

According to the lawsuit filed Wednesday, lawmakers contend that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter violated the Idaho Constitution earlier this year when he vetoed a proposal that would have repealed the 6 percent sales tax on groceries. In 1978, the state's highest court ruled a governor has 10 days to veto or approve a bill starting when it lands on his desk.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho may be synonymous with potatoes, but the state is also one of the largest dairy producers in the country. Like much of the agriculture sector, a majority of the labor at dairies comes from foreign-born workers.

In southern Idaho, cows’ hooves clack gently as they stand in the milking parlor of a small dairy. Taking the noise of the automated milkers in stride, the cows are calm as they’re milked in 10 minute sessions. Monitoring the animals, overseeing the machinery and wrangling the cows in and out of the milking parlor is Pedro.

Paula Padilla del Valle / Flickr

Between 2014 and last fall, the Ada County Highway District reconfigured sections of seven downtown Boise streets to accommodate two-way traffic. The conversions have proven popular; Boise officials are so smitten with the changes they want more. They’re keeping their fingers crossed ACHD makes good on a plan to alter parts of 5th and 6th Streets downtown to two-way thoroughfares.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

As many politicians have retreated from facing constituents in person at town hall meetings over the last few months, Idaho's Raul Labrador is bucking the trend by scheduling two town halls later this month.

The first public event the Republican congressman will hold is Wednesday, April 19. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Meridian Middle School Auditorium. Labrador's second town hall will be held at Mission Aviation Fellowship in Nampa on April 24; it also starts in the evening at 6:30.

Representative Bryan Zollinger / Facebook

Tuesday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter vetoed a bill to repeal the six percent sales tax on groceries. Wednesday, two lawmakers said that veto was invalid and the repeal now becomes law.

GOP Representatives Ron Nate and Bryan Zollinger say Governor Butch Otter’s veto came too late to be valid.

 

Gregory Williams / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter allowed a transportation funding bill to become law Tuesday, despite concerns over how the plan came to be.

The $320 million transportation plan takes about $15 million out of the general fund through sales tax – which is used to pay for things like public schools. Governor Otter is not happy with this funding formula, but with bridges and roads falling apart across the state he allowed the bill to become law – without his signature.

AP

Idaho Supreme Court Justice Daniel Eismann says he will retire this fall after more than 16 years on the state's highest court.

Eismann has served in the state's judiciary for three decades, first as a magistrate judge in Owyhee County and later as a district judge in Ada County. He joined the high court in 2000 after defeating incumbent Cathy Silak in a highly contentious and partisan race.

Friscocali / Flickr

Idaho’s legislative delegation in Washington, D.C. is weighing in on Thursday’s missile strikes against a Syrian airfield. The pinpoint military action used 59 cruise missiles to blast an airfield in Syria said to be the site where planes carrying chemical weapons were based.

AP

A key legislative leader is promising to reintroduce a proposal amending Idaho's constitution to expand the rights of crime victims and their families.

Senate Majority Caucus Chair Todd Lakey said Thursday he will bring back his proposal during the 2018 legislative session after his first version was spiked by a House committee earlier this year.

Pages