Politics & Goverment

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Idaho Democratic Leader Responds To Immigration Bill

Jan 31, 2017
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Monday Idaho House Rep. Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) introduced a bill opposing the adoption of sanctuary cities. Although Idaho has no sanctuary cities in place, the lawmaker says his proposal would ensure that no state funding would ever be given to cities and counties that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.
 
House Minority leader Mat Erpelding (D-Boise) blasted the bill.
 

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.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

More than 600 people held signs, chanted and demonstrated yesterday at the Boise Airport in opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees from entering the country.

“No hate. No Fear. Refugees are welcome here!” resounded through the concourse between the airport’s check-in counters and security area.

AP

Idaho residents flocked to the Capitol Friday to urge lawmakers to provide health care to the state's neediest citizens, address Idaho's medical transportation system and reform religious exemptions.

The testimony was part of the annual listening session hosted by the House and Senate Health and Welfare Committees.

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

North Idaho Representative Heather Scott stood on the House floor Friday and asked to be allowed to return to her committees.

“I respectfully request that I be returned to my committees so I can properly perform my duly elected position and the voice of the citizens in District 1 in North Idaho will no longer be silenced," said Scott.

Chelsea Beck / NPR

President Trump tweets a lot. With tens of millions of followers on Twitter, Trump proposes policy, shares his latest actions and reacts to the news. But 140 characters rarely gives the full context. Here, we attempt to do just that for key tweets.

John Miller / AP Images

Idaho U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson will resign at the end of February, after serving the district of Idaho for the last six years. She was sworn in by former President Barack Obama.

According to Idaho Reports, Olson says she is anticipating changes under President Donald Trump and wants to choose when she would leave her post. U.S. attorneys serve at the discretion of the president.

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.

AP

As the Idaho Legislature prepares its annual budget, it's debating on how best to handle a $139 million surplus. That's a good thing. But according to experts, the presence of a one-time surplus can make political decisions very difficult.

Earlier this month, a panel of academics and journalists at the City Club of Boise wondered what Idaho legislators would do with a substantial surplus. Retired professor Jim Weatherby said that dealing with excess funds can be harder than dealing with a deficit.

Les Bois Park Live Horse Racing
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's horsemen groups are urging the state's racing commission to sign off on a last-ditch effort to save their faltering industry after failing to convince the Legislature to reinstate lucrative betting machines known as instant racing terminals.

John Sheldon, the operator of Idaho's largest horse racing track, told commissioners Wednesday that they already have the authority to allow tracks to use instant racing terminals.

Idaho Representative Steve Hartgen / Facebook

The Idaho House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted Tuesday to bring the state's tax code in line with federal rules, despite facing objections from two lawmakers who argued the state should not be recognizing same-sex marriages.

Washington Post screenshot / YouTube

President Donald Trump's scathing criticism of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will prevent the soldier from getting a fair trial on charges he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan, Bergdahl's attorneys said Friday.

In a motion filed shortly after Trump was sworn in, defense lawyers asked a military judge to dismiss the charges against Bergdahl and argued the Republican's comments have violated his due process rights and amount to unlawful command influence.

Chelsea Beck / NPR

Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Follow NPR's full online coverage with this live blog.

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

As the Idaho Legislature wraps up its second week, lawmakers have introduced around 30 bills so far.

Boise State University Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief says that’s a little below normal, but we’ll see a lot more bills next week.

Right now, lawmakers are looking at a change to the Primary Election system in Idaho. They also want to make sure liquor licenses get used for selling booze instead of as investments. And Democrats had a suggestion for getting more teachers into rural schools.

White House

There are only a few hours left in Barack Obama’s presidency and chances are dimming that he’ll move on two issues with ties to Idaho.

There has been speculation over the last few months of Obama’s presidency that he might create a National Monument across Idaho’s border in eastern Oregon.

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