Regional News for Idaho and the Pacific Northwest

Drug overdose immunity, revised CBD bills introduced

The legal immunity bill is in response to the opioid epidemic that has engulfed rural states, like Idaho, with high numbers of deaths from overdoses. “This is very important and states that have introduced this bill have seen a decrease in opioid overdose deaths by 30 percent,” said Rep. Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston, who co-sponsored the legislation. “It’s a lot of lives that we can save with this bill and I would appreciate your support.”

February 14, 2018 12:51 p.m. read more..

Absentee voting under way

Voting is under way for both the Mountain View and Kamiah school district’s levy elections. Last Friday, Feb. 9, the Idaho County Elections Office began sending mail-out absentee ballots to voters. On Monday, Feb. 12, absentee voting opened at the Idaho County Courthouse, which continues through March 9.

February 14, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

$17M in improvements coming to US12 starting this spring

Construction may begin as early as April on U.S. Highway 12 that will undergo a $17 million transformation to revitalize aging infrastructure and improve safety throughout the corridor. According to the Idaho Transportation Department, more than 50 miles of the highway between Lowell and the Idaho-Montana border will be repaved, and two bridges—over Maggie and Fish creeks—will be replaced. “We are excited to have this opportunity to improve the corridor,” said Joe Schacher, ITD manager for the improvements.

February 14, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Sexual assault kits: 2017 ISP report: No backlog for county law enforcement agencies

No backlog is reported for Idaho County law enforcement agencies in submitting sexual assault kits, according to a state report released last month. However, agencies statewide are missing the mandated month time to submit kits, showing some legislative change may be needed to the law that better fits with the process and complexity involved in these cases.

February 14, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Idaho ranked 8th best state in which to retire

Luckily for our readers, Idaho is ranked 8th in “best states to retire.” This is based on a list compiled by the on-line site WalletHub (2018), which compared the 50 states across 41 key indicators of retirement-friendliness. Their analysis examines affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life.

February 14, 2018 6 a.m. read more..

Inmates in ag bill passes House committee

While the committee ultimately voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, S1208 did generate concern about the wages paid to inmate workers and their insurance coverage. “These (people) are working a long, hard, eight-hour day… so are you going to pay them more?” asked Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth.

February 9, 2018 4:56 p.m. read more..

Idaho literacy test reform bill introduced

An Idaho House panel introduced a bill Feb. 6 to remove a mandatory literacy screening test for Idaho students because it could be used inappropriately. In 2014, a subcommittee analyzed current state policies around increasing literacy rates. House Education Committee Chair Julie VanOrden said the group received a report that found that the Idaho Reading Indicator was being used incorrectly.

February 9, 2018 4:46 p.m. read more..

Concealed carry expansion bill introduced

An Idaho Senate panel introduced a bill Friday that would expand permit-less concealed carry of guns to non-Idaho residents. The bill would expand 2016 legislation that allowed Idaho residents 21 and older to concealed carry without a permit in city limits. Schools, jails and courthouses are exempt from the law.

February 9, 2018 4:42 p.m. read more..

Bill to remove senior math requirement passes Senate panel

A Senate panel passed a bill Feb. 6 that would remove the requirement that Idaho seniors take a math class. Students would still be required to take six semesters of math even if SB 1266 became law. The State Board of Education has to write a rule change on the senior math requirement. Senate Education Committee Vice Chair Steven Thayn’s bill would only change Idaho code.

February 9, 2018 4:41 p.m. read more..

House panel partially adopts science education standards

The Idaho House Education Committee voted 12-4 Feb. 7 to partially adopt new science standards, removing one section on climate change and earth science and removing all supporting content in the science standards. The other science standards were approved.

February 9, 2018 4:39 p.m. read more..

Otter’s higher ed budget could lead to tuition increase

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter rejected a line item in his budget proposal that college administrators predict would help slow tuition increases at Idaho four-year public universities. Otter left this and most higher education line items out of his budget to focus on funding “student-centric and system-wide needs,” as recommended by the higher education taskforce.

February 9, 2018 4:37 p.m. read more..

Idaho House passes $200 million tax-cut bill

Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, moved to send the bill to general orders to modify it by adding an elimination to the grocery tax. That motion failed in a 24-46 vote. Moyle called Scott’s motion a “hostile move against the bill,” to which she responded, “This is not a hostile debate. The citizens of Idaho want a grocery tax repeal.”

February 9, 2018 4:29 p.m. read more..

Senate panel passes STEM diploma bill

The bill, SB 1267, would recognize public school and public charter school students who complete more science and math classes than the three years required by the state.

February 9, 2018 4:26 p.m. read more..

House panel introduces pet-friendly license plate bill

“Larger urban areas like ours, Ada County, are doing well because we have larger orgs and non-profits who do fundraising and help out,” she told the House Transportation & Defense Committee. “But, some rural communities might need a little more assistance.”

February 9, 2018 4:23 p.m. read more..


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