Bringing the Economy Home


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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