Dog Fights, Bad Cops, Burning

Legislators return to work today with a number of hot bills on the table: a law to close primaries and one to make dog fighting a felony. A deal is reached on N. Idaho field burning that give DEQ it’s authority back and an interesting article in the Post Register on the rise in investigations of police officer misconduct. And a Boise State University study shows most Idahoans want Craig to resign. [Unscientific aside: most Idahoans could not pick Craig out of a lineup… my wife was on a plane from Minneapolis with Craig this weekend and hardly anyone on the plane recognized the senior senator.]

Survey: Idahoans happy with direction of state. Don Wimberly on Boise State Radio. [Audio] Concerned about the economy. Anne Wallace Allen in the Statesman.

Vick, Malad case spur dog fighting bill. Bill that would make dog fighting a felony gets initial nod. Boone, AP in the Statesman.

Otter ed advisor paid bill in wrong year. State Ed Board, Otter advisor, ed board, advisor. Karen McGee authorized $1.4 million payment in wrong year putting State Board of Education in financial crisis. Miller, AP in the Statesman.

Commerce director: prepare for state budget sans Micron. State economist Mike Ferguson projects losses of 2,000 jobs in next two years, but: “We don’t believe we’re on the verge of losing our biggest private employer. Beyond 2009, we see growth resuming.” Ken Dey in the Statesman.

One time spending in Otter budget. Building projects, investments, paying off debt with one-time surplus funds figure large in governor’s budget. Druzin in the Statesman. Conservative Governor/Legislature keeps raising spending. John Miller, AP in the Statesman.

CDA Rep. Saylor: iSTARS misguided. Former teacher tells district teachers should not have to give up tenure. Sean Garmire in the CDA Press.

Lawmakers question IDFG on wolves. Senators challenge biologists on wolf numbers, affects. Hopkins in the the Times-News.

Some state employees may make less. Combo of pay raise and benefit cut could net less money to lower paid state workers. Sharon Fisher on NewWest. Gwartney working for no pay. Otter buddy is running the Dept. of Admin for free. Russell in the Spokesman Review.

Police academy investigating 78 Idaho officers. New push for investigations after Gen X cops screw up. Sheriff Gary Aman: “We’re getting people who look at the job in a way that is different from the past. They see it as a paycheck.” Nick Draper in the Post Register.

Judge sides with surface water users. Fish farmers get the water. Judge Schroeder: “It is inescapable … that spring flows have declined over time and that a portion of that decline is attributable to ground-water pumping.” Matt Christensen in the Ag Weekly.

DEQ gets burning back. Under deal, DEQ will regulate field burning again. Could begin this summer. Russell in the Spokesman. Kathy Hedberg in the LMT.

Burley feedlot manager accused of injecting manure into aquifer. FAces up to 14 years and $1 million fines. Christensen in the Times-News.

Is latest closed election bill a set up? GOP chairman introduces a bill to register all primary voters by party. GOP law makers not amused. Russell in the Spokesman.

Idaho GOP pick Romney in straw poll. Romney got 42 of 89 votes from current and past Republican Central Committee members. Anna Webb in the Statesman.

Idaho soldier didn’t think he’d come back alive. Statesman reminder that there is still a war going on. Staff Sgt. Ian Freeman. “I’d kind of written myself off. I didn’t think I was going to live through the whole thing.” Druzin in the Statesman.

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