Closed Primaries, Trains and Roads

A theme for last week could be: important bills hung up. A closed primary bill submitted by the Idaho GOP is not really what the primary closers wanted to see. It’s hung up. A bill to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in the workplace is hung up by lawmakers who with hangups. Road funding is hung up in the budget committee (like every year). Ethics probe of Craig, hung up. Nuclear plant in Payette, just hung.

An interesting item in the Seattle Times: a train from Seattle to Salt Lake may be viable once again. Not hung up. And Unda’ the Rotunda is now on Boise State Radio’s new Legislative page. In today’s Newsrack…

Wing of Idaho GOP still trying to close primaries. Party bill introduced earlier in the session is not going anywhere, but House speaker would like to do something about Idaho’s open primaries before it goes to court. Pundit Weatherby: I think it tells you about the factionalism within the party. The Republican Party is not one party, it’s two or three parties – or maybe even more.” Russell in the Spokesman [partial access].

Expanded rights bill does not have the votes. Senate leadership says bill will get a hearing only if it has enough votes to get out of committee. LeFavour working the votes. 21 other states protect gay and lesbians in workplace, other discrimination by law. 11 states have protections by executive order. Russell in the Spokesman [partial access].

Senate resources to consider climate change study. University of Idaho scientists reminded the committee Friday that global warming is a fact. Said state should consider matching genetics of plants to future climate when replanting after fire. Ferguson in the LMT.

Payette nuke plant DOA. MidAmerican Nuclear Energy Company decides not to go for a nuclear energy plant in Payette. Not economical at this time. AP in the Press Tribune. Two legislators confirm, appears to be too high a cost for materials (materiel?) Talbott in the Statesman.

$100 million personal property tax cut in the works. IACI President Alex S. LaBeau: “What better time to incentivize growth for businesses in the state of Idaho than when there’s the potential for a downturn in the economy? I guess the quote should be, ‘what better way to insulate yourself?'” Moyle: Go Reaganomics. Hopkins in the Times-News.

Hundreds of millions of borrowed highway dollars unspent. Connecting Idaho wants $134 million more this year, but state budget writers are asking why they have not gotten into the millions they have. Sen John McGee: “This legislation we have to pass year after year, so the same tired arguments come up.” Druzin in the Statesman.

Seattle-Salt Lake passenger train could become reality. Simpson backs restoring the old route. Amtrak says it may just be feasible. AP in the Seattle Times.

Idaho business community not backing transit. Salt Lake had a different take. Fisher on

Ethanol going bust in Magic Valley. Feedlots pay more than fuel plants for corn. Walk off at new ethanol plant near Heyburn. Environmental disaster. Christensen in the Times-News.

Tax committee back tax hike. 1.5 percent rise in airplane fuel tax will go to full House vote. Pilots begged committee for extra tax to help maintain airstrips. Hopkins in the Times-News.

13 years ago Legislature barred Fish and Game from thinking about wolves. Now the agency is poised to take over management. Idaho living with wolves. Rancher Curt Hurless: “I enjoy we have wolves in Idaho. [sic] As far as I’m concerned, we’ll always have them in Idaho now.” Barker in the Statesman.

Atlanta Gold won’t use cyanide. Changing process, cutting footprint of mine. ICL’s John Robison: It’s just more of the same. Bieter spokesman: “The mayor is pleased that the cyanide issue is off the table. But the mayor and the council had a lot of other concerns not related to cyanide.” Ken Dey in the Statesman.

U of I, LCSC want competitive salaries. Profs compare their rates to UC Davis, Reno, Michgan State, and they lag way behind. What’s a peer institution anyway and who’s counting? Joel Mills in the LMT [subscrip].

BSU, CWI love fest over. New community college and aspiring research uni are having some small disagreements over vision, infrastructure. Still friends though. Roberts in the Statesman.

Lawmakers talk water, schools at Bingham Co. breakfast. Bair, Marriott disappointed with fish farm water ruling. Lake says school district consolidation bill has traction. Emily Hone in the Blackfoot AM News.

Ethics committee probe of Craig not in a hurry. Though still active, there is no sign the Senate Ethics Committee is investigating Sen. Larry Craig for misconduct. Bolstad in the Statesman.

Drug czar Fields still wants drug treatment funding. She admits she missed the Governor’s deadline to prove her programs work, but hopes the Legislature will give her some of the $25 million she wants. Popkey in the Statesman.

What would Martin do? Poet Nikki Giovanni: “How the hell would I know?” The question is what are you going to do. Breathtaking keynote address from veteran black poet at Boise State. Shannon Morgan in the Arbiter with video.

Idaho Reports has dueling teacher pay plans and more.

President of Mormon Church dies. Gordon B. Hinckley, 97, died Sunday. He over saw a huge expansion of the church worldwide and told 60 Minutes, “We are not a weird people.” Thomas S. Monso, 80, likely to take over. Jennifer DAP in the Statesman.

Red’s to meet ATF in court. Judge Lodge denies feds request to vacate the case. Twin Falls gun shop will be able to challenge dealer license revocation after multiple violations found. Friedman in the Times-News.

Unda’ the Rotunda now on Boise State Radio’s new Legislative page. Check it.

On the blogs: Business Review can’t find a conservative to take on former Ada Party Dems Chairman Brian Cronin. And it does not appear that the Statesman can find a counterpoint to Sen. David Langhorst’s point.


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