A bill to divert nonviolent drug offenders into treatment programs will get a hearing, but it’s demise in the Senate is foreshadowed. Tit for tat on the State Board of Education, a state greenhouse gas study gets a hearing, Cuba bill introduced after feisty debate and a proposed nuclear facility in Owyhee County is not paying its bill (it didn’t arrive in the mail).
And overheard in the Annex: Privileged committees, ones with no deadline for filing bills, will soon get to work on the meat of the session. Stay tuned… to the Daily Newsrack…
Rep. Phil Hart: Don’t throw the book at them. Bill would allow judges to divert drug offenders into treatment, regardless of mandatory minimums. Athol’s Hart: “They’re not really criminals, they’re people with a problem. We want to help them solve the problem.” Declo’s Darrington: It’s not going to pass. Russell in the Spokesman [partial access]. Half of state’s inmates are drug offenders. Shifrin, AP in the Times-News. Partial thaw, Kuraitis on NewWest.net.
One in six child welfare case workers left the job in ’07. Health ad Welfare social workers burnt out. Heavy caseloads keep getting heavier, Department wants 12 new caseworkers to stave off federales. Webb in the Statesman.
Schroeder keeps after the Ed Board. Plan to hold top jobs open to pay down debt to testing company raises eyebrows. Board pres wants to rat out staff. Chairman Milford Terrell: “He has to talk to the bosses. (But) there is a second level of this. They need to talk to everybody that was involved in the process.” Roberts in the Statesman.
Co-head of budget committee has not seen the movie. Votes against study on Idaho’s role in global warming. Sen. Dean Cameron: “In order to buy that logic, you have to have a firm belief that global warming is a fact, and I’m not sure I’m there yet.” Idea is to profit off greenhouse gas reductions, gets initial committee nod. Druzin in the Statesman. Will have a few days of hearings on it. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip]. Sen. Coiner is okay with information. Hopkins in the Times-News.
So what are we going to pay teachers then? North Idaho principals, supers asking the question. Darrell Olsen, Culdesac: “Where else is it going to come from?” There is no other place we are going to get it.” He supports iSTARS. Jodi Walker in the LMT [subscrip].
State School for the Deaf and Blind under review. May change location, format. Move away from boarding to in-district services, but what will happen to Gooding? John Miller, AP in the Times-News.
College help if you pee in a cup. Bill would offer ‘ships to kids who pledge to stay drug free and submit to random testing. Now a pilot project. Davidson in the Post Register [subscrip].
McKague wants to send a message. Meridian Republican wants to end birthright citizenship, secure the border, derail amnesty, etc. She’s sending a message to Congress. Sam Byrd: “’If the good senator really cared about border security, she would really go beyond’” the idea of building a wall and propose a solution that would address the source of the immigration problem.” Committee hearing for Senate resolution. Christin Runkle in the Press Tribune.
A quarter of the Forest Service budget goes to fire fighting. Asking for more money for suppression. Jay Jensen, executive director of the Council of Western State Foresters: “The Forest Service used to be a forest-management agency. They’re turning into a fire suppression agency.” Craig is tired of underfunding. Christensen in the Times-News.
Bill adds grizzlies to depredation list. Ranchers will be eligible for payments for verified grizzly kills of livestock. Only 25 to 50 bears thought to be in Idaho. Davidson in the Post Register [subscrip].
Proposed Owyhee nuke plant in arrears with the County. Alternate Energy Holdings owes $50,000 to county planners. Has not paid up. Owyhee P&Z chief: “We’re not going to continue to hold this and beg for fees. The company needs to decide if they want to go forward with this project. “Unclear how much AEH has raised so far in terms of billions of dollars to build the thing. Ken Dey in the Statesman.
Attorney General says nuke siting voter initiative has legal holes. Twin Falls podiatrist Peter Rickards is moving forward with the ballot measure anyway. He wants voters to have a say where nuclear plants go. Christensen in the Times-News.
Senate approves fuel tax deals with tribes. Four Idaho nations will charge same fuel tax as state. A quarter. And use the money for roads, boating, search and rescue and public transportation. Feguson in the LMT [subscrip].
Canyon County Democratic Diva dead at 69. Sharon Van Slyke spent her whole life in an uphill battle in GOP dominated Canyon County. She died of cancer Sunday. United Way’s Sally Zive: “She was one of these classic community volunteers. She just knew what needed to be done, and either recruited people to help her get things done or she got it done herself.” Strauss in the Press Tribune.
On the blogs: Larry Craig’s Political Action Committee is zeroed out, but the last payments are a hot potato… at Ridenbaugh Press.