Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Senator Mike Crapo is not giving up on his push to get a vote on Pocatello judge David Nye's nomination to the U.S. District Court of Idaho. Nye was selected to fill a vacant seat on the court in April. Since then, he’s survived questions from the senate judiciary committee, and has been waiting to get a full vote from the Senate. Crapo is hopeful Nye's nomination can come to a vote during the current lame duck session.

Kimberlee Kruesi / AP

Republican Rep. Greg Chaney says he is challenging House Majority Caucus Chairman John Vander Woude for his legislative leadership position.

Chaney said Friday that he was approached earlier this year to run for the leadership seat, but declined to name who asked him to run.

Idaho Fish & Game Headquarters Office Sign Director
Dan Greenwood / Boise State Public Radio

Fourteen former Idaho Fish and Game commissioners are asking legislative leaders to replace the head of the state's Senate Resources and Environment Committee.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the commissioners sent a letter Thursday asking that Sen. Steve Bair, a Republican from Blackfoot, no longer chair the senate committee.

The commissioners wrote that their request was prompted over a dispute over reappointment of commissioners, as well as after seeing efforts to change how controlled hunting permits are allocated.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

For the second time in nearly two decades, 31 members of Idaho's state lawmakers are women.

On Election Day, Idaho voters picked the 31 female lawmakers to hold legislative offices across the state. There are 105-members in the predominantly-Republican Idaho Legislature.

Nine women will serve in the Senate, while 22 women will hold seats in the House.

Eleven of the women are Democrats, and the remaining 20 are Republicans.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

A couple of days after last week’s polarizing election, Julianne Donnelly Tzul led a training for refugees in Boise. As the head of the local office of the International Rescue Committee, she heard concerns about what may happen under President-elect Trump’s administration. His campaign included sharp anti-refugee rhetoric.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Dome (2)
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's top legislative leaders have approved a new system for estimating the cost of proposed legislation on the state's general fund.

In Idaho, bill sponsors are solely responsible for determining the financial impact of their legislation. There is no consequence if the estimated cost of a bill is wrong. Furthermore, the Idaho Legislature does not track if legislation estimates are accurate, so it's unclear how many bills may have incorrectly stated their fiscal impact.

Two prosecutors who were elected to positions in Boise and Payette County have already resigned from their posts.

Boise County Prosecutor Ross Pittman, who ran unopposed in Tuesday's election, has resigned and has been appointed to a job at the Payette County Prosecutor's office, The Idaho Statesman reported. Payette County Prosecutor Anne-Marie Kelso has also resigned from her position days after winning her re-election bid.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

It was a refrain we heard over and over during President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign.

“Unless you get hit by a truck, you’re never going to be able to use it," Trump said at the second presidential debate. "It is a disastrous plan and it has to repealed and replaced.”

The Affordable Care Act is one of the bigger Obama administration policies on Trump's chopping block. In Idaho, this means the Democratic-led push to expand Medicaid to cover 78,000 low-income Idahoans is dead.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Wednesday afternoon, a group of about 25 protesters gathered on the steps of the Idaho Capitol to show their opposition to president-elect Donald Trump.

Whitnee Kieran held a bright yellow poster, with the message “He is Not My President” written in marker. Kieran says she moved from shock to terror on Election Night, as she watched Donald Trump take the lead.

Coleen Danger / Flickr Creative Commons

As of Tuesday, Idaho shares 77 percent of its border with pot-friendly states, making it an island of abstinence on the legal weed frontier.

The Spokesman-Review reports that with new laws to be enacted in Nevada and Montana and including British Columbia, where medical pot is legal, 80 percent of Idaho now borders legal marijuana.

Ronda Churchill / AP

Election officials said they faced delays tallying the votes in Idaho's second most populated county because of illegible ballots and technical trouble with a voting machine.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the final votes for Canyon County weren't counted until Wednesday morning. Election day polls closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Tim Hurst, chief deputy at the Secretary of State's office, says Franklin, Bonner and Nez Perce counties also faced troubles counting ballots.

All of Idaho’s legislative seats were up for grabs in Tuesday's election. The Legislature already leans heavily Republican and after votes were counted, it became even more so.

A handful of Democratic seats turned Republican. In some of those, long-time Democratic incumbents lost their seats. Other, formerly Democratic seats that were open, turned GOP.

Idaho Democrats Suffer Legislative Losses

Nov 9, 2016
State of Idaho

Idaho Democrats suffered some stinging losses in Tuesday’s legislative races. Moscow Rep. Dan Schmidt failed in his bid for reelection, as did Lewiston Democrat John Rusche. Rusche was House minority leader for eight years before losing to Republican Mike Kingsley.

Assistant House Minority Leader, Matt Erpelding, a Boise Democrat, says the loss means a change in the dynamic of the leadership team in the statehouse.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Latest on Election Day in Idaho (all times local):

10:08 a.m.

Idaho voters have approved a Constitutional Amendment that enshrines lawmakers' legislative veto power.

Idaho lawmakers have been using the legislative veto power to reject administrative rules created by executive branch agencies for years.

The practice was approved by the Idaho Supreme Court 25 years ago.

But federal courts have ruled that a similar veto function by Congress was unconstitutional and some states have deemed it illegal.

Boise State Public Radio

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney will be working the polls in northern Idaho during Tuesday's election.

Nez Perce County Clerk Patty Weeks said Monday that she first invited Denney to work the May primary election, but the secretary had another commitment. So the two rescheduled for him to work the general election.

This will be the first election Denney — a former House Speaker in the Idaho Legislature — has spent as a poll worker since taking over the office in 2014.

Loading...

Brent Moore / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he’ll deport all 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. Lacking legal status, they fill many jobs – especially in farming. With Idaho solidly conservative, we wondered how those in agricultural areas reconciled their business interests with their politics.

Steve Millington is sitting in the back corner of the Twin Falls Perkins restaurant when we meet in the late morning. He’s the chairman of the Twin Falls County Republican Party and an avowed fan of breakfast; he has a plate of eggs, bacon and pancakes while we chat.

Idaho Republican Party / Facebook

Republicans are expected to dominate Tuesday's election, with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump predicted to easily win Idaho's four electoral votes and all three of the Republican congressional candidates likely to secure their bids for re-election.

That leaves the open seat on Idaho's Supreme Court as the state's most competitive race.

Twin Falls attorney Robyn Brody and Republican state Sen. Curt McKenzie are in a tight race over the little-known position.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County elections officials today will test their voting system in advance of next week's big vote.

The test takes ballots with predetermined votes and runs them through the same process they would go through on Election Day to make sure software and equipment are working properly.

The equipment is tested every election, but Ada County Deputy Chief Clerk Phil McGrane says there’s added scrutiny this year after allegations of voter fraud across the country.

Pages