Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

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.

Troy Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that questions the validity of some national monuments in the West.  The order applies to any national monument created after 1995 that totals at least 100,000 acres.

Friday, the Interior Department released the list of monuments up for review and announced the first-ever public comment period on the topic. In a new twist, Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument made the list.

Kim Nilsson / Flickr

Ahead of August’s total solar eclipse which will pass through Idaho, the state’s Department of Commerce is launching a website to help eclipse watchers coming to the Gem State.

Anywhere from 500,000 to a million people are expected to descend on Idaho this August to watch the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of day turning to night as the moon blots out the sun.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter on Wednesday asked the Idaho Supreme Court for permission to get involved in a lawsuit challenging how much time a governor has to veto legislation.

According to the petition, Otter's attorneys argue that the Republican governor should be allowed to intervene because it was Otter's veto that sparked the lawsuit and he wants to defend that decision in court. Currently, the lawsuit only names Secretary of State Lawerence Denney as a respondent.

Screengrab / Senate Natural Resources Committee

Sunday night, Congress negotiated a budget bill to fund the government for the next six months. One provision not included was a reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools Act, or SRS.

goochrules / Flickr

Monday evening in Twin Falls, the city council heard two hours of testimony about a resolution that would declare the community a “Neighborly City.”

The language in the resolution describes Twin Falls as “a community where all residents are welcomed, accepted and given the opportunity to connect with each other without bias.” Out of 28 speakers who shared views on the proposal, 21 spoke in favor of it.

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. 

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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.

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