Urban Renewal, Naturopaths & ‘Rack

Conservative, former Utah governor Lane Beattie was at the Statehouse Thursday talking about how important it is to raise taxes for transportation infrastructure. Senate transpo committee impressed, but House leadership still skeptical.

Also, Post Register reporter asks governor’s office about adding sexual orientation to Idaho Human Rights Act and gets a vaguely supportive response, teacher pay plan public hearings end with full house and Tamarack is fined for stormwater runoff violations. Big fine.

Meridian schools want some of Eagle’s urban renewal cash. School district sues city over urban renewal taxes, which would not benefit local schools. Rep. Mike Moyle: “We don’t want urban renewal districts taking money from our schools or shifting them to other property taxpayers.” Anticipating a bill to fix. Colleen Lamay in the Statesman.

Otter spokesman give slight nod to sexual orientation protections. Points out past statements from governor on sexual orientation: He hoped he “would be a big enough person not to let an individual’s sexual orientation make a difference” in appointing a replacement for Craig. Davidson in the Post-Register [subscrip].

Geddes, Denney: Luna pay plan must stay intact. Senate and House leaders tell press scrum that teacher contracts and teacher pay should be linked to get pay-for-performance through the Legislature. David Staats in the Statesman. Ed committees unmoved after four days of testimony on teacher pay. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip]. N. Idaho teachers testify. Ty Hampton in the Shoshone News Press.

Ex-Utah gov lobbies for local option, road taxes. Lane Beattie, now head of Salt Lake Chamber, was a tax cutter who thinks transportation taxes, infrastructure is key to business. Bedke, House leaders, still skeptical: “Their paradigm shifted in Utah when the business community started demanding it. It wasn’t just a few lone voices in the Legislature or business.” Popkey in the Statesman.

H&W asks for $1.4 billion Medicaid budget. A third is state money, second largest budget item after public schools. Rebecca Boone, AP in the Press Tribune.

Addicts can’t get treatment; falling through the cracks. Rep. Fred Wood looking for funding for additional state-funded drug counselors: “Hopefully we can come up with enough money to at least sustain our effort from the past couple of years. For every dollar you put in prevention, you save 10 dollars in treatment. All you have to do is take one quick look at that and say, ‘where should we be spending our money?'” Cassidy Friedman in the Times-News.

Interim bighorn plan readied. Domestic or bighorn sheep could be shot in no-go zones. Otter wants plan on his desk next month, but committee vetting it has not reached consensus. Christensen in the Times-News.

Panel rejects naturopath licensing rules. Deputy AG says the rule is too vague and could expose the board, which has already licensed a handful of Idaho alternative practitioners, to a law suit. AP in the Statesman.

Nearly 1 in 10 Idahoans is Hispanic. Less than half have health insurance, but many know how to keep work through economic downturns. Bethann Stewart in the Statesman.

Payette, Owyhee nuke plants would be largest in nation. Nuclear power 101. Casey Clark Ney in the Argus Observer.

EPA fines Tamarack for runoff violations. Second highest fine ever in the region. Resort has to change winter construction practices. Dvorak, AP in the Press Tribune. Carlson in the IBR.

Blaine Co. child sex abuse cases triple. More reporting ,growing population and more teen girls having sex with older men. Terry Smith in the Mtn. Express.

Earthjustice to try to block new wolf rules. Environmental group will try to block rules that give state mangers more leeway in advance of delisting. Tami Abdollah, LA Times.

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