Scott Bedke

Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation / BLM

One of Idaho’s top political leaders urged the federal government Wednesday to roll back a conservation plan for one of the West’s most iconic animals.


Boise State Public Radio

Leaders in the Idaho Legislature are assembling a working group to examine ethics and financial disclosure requirements in the state.

Idaho is one of just three states requiring no financial disclosures for state legislators, other elected officials, and government appointees. So-called “revolving door” laws that prevent officials from immediately hopping into similar roles in the private sector – those too are absent.

Idaho Ed News

Frustrations boiled over this week in the Idaho House, as conservative lawmakers tried to make a stand against their fellow Republicans in the Legislature.

The House came to a standstill not once, but twice this week, as a small group, which includes some north Idaho Republicans, used procedural moves in favor of one bill and against another. Both times, their attempts failed and revealed the cracks in the GOP between the very conservative members and the more mainstream Republican leadership.

Vito Barbieri
Matt Cilley / AP Images

Idaho state Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, introduced a bill Wednesday that would exempt public officials from fulfilling certain public records requests. He brought up the proposal in the House State Affairs Committee.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke has appointed Republican Rep. Clark Kauffman of Filer to serve on the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs. His appointment replaces Rep. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell, from the board. Chaeny has served on it since 2015.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke removed Republican Rep. Heather Scott from her three legislative committee assignments last week, causing a stir in the statehouse. Bedke made the announcement after Scott commented to another female lawmaker that women only move up in the capitol by trading sexual favors.

Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill says a Republican House member secretly recorded a private conversation before the May primary election.

The Post Register reports in a story on Wednesday that Rep. Ron Nate, of Rexburg, declined to disclose the audio recording after the eastern Idaho newspaper sent him a public records request. Hill also declined to reveal the contents of the recording.

internet, computer, broadband,
Sean MacEntee / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho officials originally agreed to pay $7.2 million in a settlement over an illegal statewide contract that provided broadband in public schools.

However, a March ruling from the Idaho Supreme Court halted settlement talks after justices upheld a lower court's ruling deeming the $60 million contract was illegal. The surprise ruling came down in the final days of the settlement being finalized.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter Wednesday called for a special legislative session to reconsider a child support bill killed by a handful of conservative lawmakers.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Two months into Idaho’s legislative session, many of the priorities lawmakers set at the beginning of the year haven’t been touched. Legislative leaders say things like road and bridge funding and a tax overhaul may have to wait until next year.

At an event organized by the Idaho Press Club Wednesday, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said he’s optimistic the session can end by March 27. That’s despite the fact that a highly-anticipated bill to give teachers a raise was introduced Wednesday and a comprehensive plan to pay for fixing Idaho’s roads and bridges hasn’t yet surfaced.

Add The Words
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Update 5:46 p.m. 

Idaho Republican leaders announced a change of course Wednesday and approved the introduction of a bill that would include sexual orientation and gender identity protections in the state's Human Rights Act.

The House Ways and Means Committee, made up of Republican legislative leadership, voted 6-1 to bring the proposed legislation to a full hearing.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Legalizing marijuana in Idaho has been a complete no-go, even as its neighbors have started licensing pot dispensaries and retail shops.

But now Republican leaders in Idaho say they're willing to consider a very narrow version of a medical marijuana law.

Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said this year lawmakers may explore legalizing a cannabis extract. It’s been found to help some patients with a rare and severe form of epilepsy.

House Speaker Scott Bedke says he's met with Idaho's former chief economist over a proposal to shift $80 million from a grocery tax credit to individual and corporate income tax cuts.

Bedke, a Republican from Oakley, met with Mike Ferguson, the top economist at the state under six governors before retiring four years ago.

Bedke's proposes to redirect money now given to Idaho families to offset sales tax they pay on groceries to income tax cuts, in hopes of making Idaho a more-attractive place for businesses to relocate.

StateImpact Idaho

This story was updated at 2:15 p.m.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter would consider a proposal from House Speaker Scott Bedke to shift money from a popular grocery tax credit to individual and corporate income tax cuts.

"Convince me," Otter told The Associated Press Wednesday, on how he's approaching Bedke's proposal.

Idaho residents now claim the grocery credit, worth up to $100 for each person in a household, or $120 for those over 65.

EarthFix

For some, public land in the west is a place to camp and recreate. For all of us, these lands are a source of water and the air we breath. That’s especially true in Idaho - where more than half of the land is federally owned and managed.  Now, some states like Idaho and Oregon want to take over the management of these federal lands.

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