Regional News for Idaho and the Pacific Northwest


Wet weekend blows through county causing minor problems

“The county road infrastructure survived fine, at least as what we know at this point,” said Jerry Zumalt, coordinator for Idaho County Disaster Management. “I think, for the most part, we did alright.” Wet and windy, but no major damage; that’s the overall summary from officials following last weekend’s storm event that generally brought up to an inch in precipitation across Idaho County with related water impacts to area streams and minor power outages and road blockages.

April 11, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Bridge work starts next week; kicks off US12 multimillion revitalization work

Bridge work starting next week kicks off $17 million in infrastructure improvements for U.S. Highway 12, a revitalization project by the Idaho Transportation Department that is expected to be completed this fall. According to ITD public information specialist Megan Sausser, work on Fish Creek Bridge near Bald Mountain (46 miles east of Kooskia) will begin on Monday, April 16, and work on Maggie Creek Bridge near Kooskia is expected to begin April 30.

April 11, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Key takeaways from this year's legislative session

The Idaho legislature wound down to a close last week. Here are some key takeaways: · Several proposals to deal with the state Medicaid gap surfaced. None passed. · Lawmakers passed one of the biggest tax cuts in state history. · A national debate on school safety made its way into the legislature. · K-12 science education standards referencing climate change survived a rocky journey.

April 4, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Trillion-dollar bill renews SRS funds for local budgets

With President Trump having signed off on renewing Secure Rural Schools funding Friday, March 23, local school and highway tax districts stand to receive the first of two big payments – totaling about $5.8 million – within the next 45 days. The renewal is part of a massive federal spending bill – a $1.3 trillion roll-up of numerous topics – which passed Congress Thursday despite opposition by conservatives including Sen. Jim Risch, Sen. Mike Crapo and Rep. Raul Labrador.

March 28, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Anti-trespass bill increases penalties, overhauls civil laws

In a matter of three days, a controversial anti-trespassing bill was amended and, with amendments, passed by the Idaho Senate and the House. To become law, HB 658 just needs to be signed by the governor. The bill, which has received hours of testimony and debate in public hearings, increases penalties for trespass and ultimately overhauls current civil trespassing laws.

March 26, 2018 11:12 a.m. read more..

Child Protective Act passed through House; waits on governor's signature

The “Child Protective Act,” also known as the “Foster Care Improvement Act” passed the Idaho House March 20 at a vote of 67-0. A trailer bill allocating $88,000 — with $32,000 ongoing — to fund the act passed both the House and Senate with little opposition. Both bills have now been delivered to the governor for final consideration.

March 23, 2018 4:11 p.m. read more..

Idaho House rejects move to consider family planning access bill

The Idaho House voted against a motion Thursday, March 22, to consider a bill funding family planning services for low-income women, marking another stalemate in legislative action to help the state’s health insurance gap population. HB 563 has been on the House Reading Calendar for weeks and its consideration was delayed until April 1 — after the legislature hopes to adjourn. A motion to move the bill to the top of the Third Reading Calendar failed on a 14-55 vote.

March 22, 2018 3:15 p.m. read more..

Idaho Health Care Plan Returned to Committee — Again

The Idaho Health Care Plan, HB 464, which directed the state to apply for two waivers from the Affordable Care Act through the federal government, was sent back to committee on a 42-27 vote in the Idaho House Wednesday, March 21. House Health & Welfare Committee Chairman Fred Wood, who made the motion Wednesday to send it back to committee, said in floor debate that delaying a full vote would allow for the bill to be improved before the next legislative session. He further argued passing the bill would “not go anywhere this year,” and that voting on it this session would hurt its chance to pass.

March 22, 2018 9:48 a.m. read more..

Bill raising child tax credit goes to Otter

A bill increasing the child tax credit created under this year’s sweeping $100 million state tax cut, cutting an additional $25 million in revenues, is headed to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter. The Senate passed HB 675, increasing the child tax credit from $130 to $205, on a 33-1 vote Wednesday, March 21.

March 21, 2018 noon read more..

Child tax credit bill heads to Senate

Idaho lawmakers passed one of the biggest tax cuts in years, but a last-minute proposal to tweak it is moving quickly through the legislative process. HB 675 cleared the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee on a unanimous voice vote Tuesday, March 20. The bill would modify the previously approved tax cut, HB 463, to include more tax relief for families.

March 21, 2018 10:41 a.m. read more..


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