An announcement Thursday of about $80 million revenue shortfall for 2008-2009 had the governor and lawmakers retooling their priorities. Budgeting work should begin in earnest next week.
Lots of stories this morning on a quickly developed plan to separate bighorn sheep and domestic sheep that could result in the extirpation of more bighorns. Fish and Game is calling it an interim plan, but the issue will likely be resolved in court, not around a table.
Cool new Google Maps hit Boise, mining and gun bills to be edited and workforce housing for Sun Valley… in today’s Newsrack.
[UPDATE WINDOW THROUGHOUT AM… STILL ADDING STORIES]
Otter scaling back state salaries, bond repayment, fire fund. State Revenue projections short governor $80 million from his proposed budget. Still wants scholarship fund, aquifer study, grocery tax credit. Teacher pay on the chopping block. AP on CNNmoney. Sen. Werk: “It’s always about prioritizing the money you have. There’s never enough money to go around. There never will be.” Druzin in the Statesman. Russell calls it $70 million. Spokesman Review.
Fish and Game will move or shoot bighorns that venture near domestic sheep. Interim plan approved by Fish and Game Thursday. Sheep industry pleased, but sportsmen, Nez Perce and environmental groups are not. Idea is to maintain separation to curtail disease transmission. Barker in the Statesman. No public comment planned. IDFG’s Dale Toweill: “In some areas the plan is going to work to the benefit of bighorns. In some areas it’s going to work to the benefit of domestics.” PAyette Forest chief: “I hope people don’t act too quickly and start shooting bighorns without thinking it through. There are native populations in Idaho.” Riddler, AP in the Press Tribune. On Cassia County sheep. LYNEA NEWCOMER & KATHLEEN TURNER in the Wood River Journal. Tribal biologist: “This policy says we’re not going to manage the lethal agent. We’re going to manage the victims. They’re killing bighorns to save bighorns.” Stahl in the Mtn. Express.
Mining Association pulls bill, goes back to table. Will discuss mine pollution rules with Department of Environmental Quality, again. Barker in the Statesman.
College kids may not get their guns. Bill to strip local jurisdictions of power to regulate firearms in public pulled back to rework college section. AP in the Post Register [subscrip].
First Responders, others priced out of resort towns. Minority leader Jaquet gets bill printed to help develop workforce housing in Ketchum, other resort towns. Developers should pay. Three other workforce housing bills killed. Shifrin, AP in the Press Tribune. Fees in lieu of housing. Related to Sun Valley measure ruled unconstitutional. Volkert in the IBR.
Dog fighting felony bill heads to Otter. Passed House unanimously Thursday. St. Maries Rep, Dick Harwood does not like the stiff penalty: “I’m going to vote for this bill, but I’m going to do it holding my nose.” Russell in the Spokesman. Bus ridership up. To combat gas prices. It doubled from April 2005 to OCtober 2007. Samantha Wright on Boise State Radio. [AUDIO]
One in four Idaho kids have fetal alcohol syndrome. According to the newspaper… bill passes House Health and Welfare to encourage businesses to warn pregnant women. Hopkins in the Times-News.
Capitol expansion project ahead of schedule. Next step will add tops to the underground boxes. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip].
Gary Collins to seek 5th term. Has helped set tax policy, slow growth of government. Nampa Rep. announces reelection bid. in the Press Tribune.
Wasden not sure of global warming cause. But he wants the nations Attorneys General to talk about it. There’s no litigation free source of power yet. Barker in the Statesman.