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Ultimate Guide on the Economy for Idaho's 2012 Legislative Session

Background

Kevin Rank / Flickr

Idaho State Capitol building in Boise

On January 9th, Idaho’s Legislature will convene in Boise for its annual session.  StateImpact Idaho will be focusing our coverage on how proposals and policy decisions impact Idahoans and the area economy.  We’ve been interviewing leading lawmakers in the run-up to session and have compiled various resources to help you get involved or stay informed.

The Basics

What Lawmakers are Saying

These posts are a series of Q & A’s we did during the weeks leading up to the 2012 Legislative session.  Each conversation focused around job creation, tax policy and the state budget.

The Issues We’re Following

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s View

We interviewed Governor Otter in December 2011, a few weeks in advance of the 2012 session.  We asked him about some of the major issues we’ll be following and posted a series of videos and Q & A’s.  Here are all of those segments in one place:

Lobbyists Influencing Decision Makers

The list of lobbyists and the organizations they represent shift from year to year.  Lobbyists are required to register with the Secretary of State before each session (and pay a $10 registration fee).  Lobbyists are also required to submit monthly reports detailing how much money they’ve spent on things like food, entertainment and travel for lawmakers and advertizing for their cause.

Latest Posts

Data Show State Used Vacant Governor’s Mansion 42 Times In Three Years

Governor's Housing Committee members Sen. Les Bock and Rep. Phylis King (D-Boise) want to sell the governor's mansion.

Idaho’s never-lived-in governor’s mansion will cost the state about $180,000 to maintain from now until next July. The state has justified that cost by saying the mansion is frequently used by government departments and the first family.  So, we wanted to know just how often it’s used, and how much rent it brings in on [...]

Governor’s Housing Panel To Consider Selling Hilltop Mansion

At the table, from left to right Sen. Les Bock, Rep. Phylis King, Sen. Chuck Winder, Rep. Max Black, Dept. of Administration Director Teresa Luna.

After a dust-up over an email budget vote, the Governor’s Housing Committee has agreed to fund maintenance of the vacant governor’s mansion. That’s on the condition the committee hosts a public meeting in mid-September to discuss the possibility of selling the donated house. Senator Les Bock (D-Boise) raised concerns last week that the committee violated [...]

Idaho Democrat Questions Governor’s Mansion Funding Process

Visitors attend an open house at the Idaho Governor's Mansion.

A public meeting has been scheduled for the Governor’s Housing Committee after a Democratic lawmaker on the panel said the chairman violated Idaho’s open meetings law by conducting a vote via email. In the email vote, the committee approved the annual $177,400 budget for maintenance of the governor’s mansion.  In a 3-2 vote, Both Democrats [...]

Supreme Court Ruling Means Decisions Ahead For Idaho Lawmakers

Rep. John Rusche (D-Lewiston) is a retired physician and former health insurance executive.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its most anticipated decision since Bush v. Gore yesterday, when it upheld the central provisions of the Affordable Care Act. While there’s wisdom in waiting for the dust to settle before issuing predictions about just how this will affect Idaho, it’s clear the ruling has implications for the state.  [...]

Idaho Lawmakers, Agencies Watchful Ahead of Health Care Ruling

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Obama's health care act tomorrow.

News outlets across the country are gearing up for the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  That decision is expected to come down at 8:15 tomorrow morning, mountain time.  Our mothership, NPR, has planned a robust lineup of coverage.  Boise State Public Radio’s news team will be hard at work [...]

Idaho Legislators To Receive Raise, Remain On Honor System For Per Diem Payments

Idaho legislators' current annual base salary is $16,116.

The committee that oversees compensation for state legislators today attempted to clarify when lawmakers may claim the $122 per diem payment intended for those who maintain a second residence during the legislative session.  That payment became a source of controversy last fall, after the AP reported that one state senator claimed it while staying with [...]

Idaho Business Lobby Voices Concern Ahead Of Supreme Court Ruling

Alex LaBeau has been president of IACI since 2006.

Anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal health care law is mounting with talk of a decision early next week.  Here in Idaho, business leaders say the lack of a state-run health insurance exchange is a main point of concern. Legislators didn’t establish a state-run exchange last session, despite pressure from the Idaho [...]

Idaho Awaits Outcome Of Health Insurance Exchange Bet

Idaho Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal.

Mitt Romney laid out his health care plan this morning, as the Supreme Court nears a decision on the constitutionality of the federal health care law.  It’s the first time Romney has discussed the specifics of his proposals since a speech in Michigan last year, the Los Angeles Times says. The Washington Post sums up [...]

Idaho Communities Compete For Dollars As Grant Funds Drop

Fairfield, above, and Twin Falls were among the many communities approved for grant funding.

Twin Falls needs to upgrade its water system to meet the demands of the new Chobani Yogurt plant.  Fairfield needs a new pump, because its water pressure is so low that bacteria builds up in its pipes.  They’re just two of the communities applying for a decreasing pool of federal grant funding. For Idaho cities [...]

Session Wrap: All Wind, No Rain In Health Insurance Exchange Debate

Before the 2012 session began, Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney expressed "mixed feelings" about establishing a state-run health insurance exchange.

It was expected to be one of the biggest debates of the 2012 legislative session: would Idaho create its own health insurance exchange?  The Associated Press held a special discussion of the issue during its January legislative preview.   In a series of interviews that StateImpact conducted in December, legislator after legislator predicted it would [...]

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