On Friday, a joint committee voted for 3 percent pay raises for some state employees, down from the governor’s request of 5. Otter disappointed but encouraging Legislature to use freed up money to fund a scholarship fund he likes. State worker unions also… disappointed. (Not that anyone interviewed them).
While last week’s revenue projections, or predictions were dire, nobody in the Annex has broached the idea of raising new revenue. Like they did just five years ago.
And lots of GOP politicking for Lincoln Day, a few upcoming Democratic announcments, and Newcomb is Stennett’s cancer coach… in today’s Newsrack.
Memories of sales tax hike. It was just 2003 when the Idaho Legislature raised the sales tax to keep the state running. Now with another shortfall the notion of raising new revenue has not been broached. Popkey in the Statesman.
Committee approves 3 percent pay raise for state workers. Democrats hold out for 4 percent-plus plan. Otter disappointed. Russell in the Spokesman. Idaho Reports.
Otter wants to cut Water Resources positions. N. Idaho adjudication, water management and stream channel protection on the chopping block. Army Coprs of Engineers concerned. IDWR’s Dave Tuthill: “It increases the burden on the federal government, and it slows down issuance of those stream channel permits.” Russell in the Spokesman [partial access].
Lodge sits on daycare rating bill. Eagle Republican wants $5 million program to improve preschools, study their effects. Sen. Patti Ann Lodge drawers it. Allen in the Statesman.
Schroeder throws down water on Fulcher’s AG opinion. Meridian Republican asked for Attorney Generals opinion on extending domestic partner bennies to Moscow city employees. Schroeder, R-Moscow, thinks he should stick to his own district and suggests his committee may dip into Treasure Valley water issues in response. Fulcher’s kids go to Christian school linked to Christ Church in Moscow. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip].
Sudan divestment hearings continue Wednesday.Targeted divestment garners support on Senate State Affairs. Retirement fund board, Governor Otter oppose divestment. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip].
Newcomb is Stennett’s cancer coach. Stennett skied one run after surgery. Hopkins in the Times-News.
House bill looks to state lands for renewable energy projects.HB 500 opens state land “commercial purposes” to some energy production. Garmire in the CDA Press.
Crapo, Risch, Sali commend McCain. At Ferdinand Lincoln Day event. Crapo and Risch state preference for Hillary, as more conservative than Obama. Crapo on Obama: “If the enthusiasm continues, it will be a factor not only in the presidential race but it could have a coattail effect.” Barker in the LMT [subscrip].
Canyon Democrats excited. To be on the ballot at least. “Hoping” for 5 or 6 candidates. Rodine in the Statesman.
Three of four Idaho Democrat superdelegates spoken for. By Obama. Roark not yet committded, though he’s gotten a calls from Bill and Chelsea. Webb in the Statesman.
Head of ID Human Rights Commission in her 30th year. Leslie Goddard has been there for the writing or enforcing of most of Idaho’s human rights laws. Goddard: “We often find that people are treated unfairly but not always discriminated against.” Swindell in the Statesman.
The op-eds: “If Mrs. Clinton won by nine points in California and Mr. Obama won by 62 points in Idaho, does that make us 71 points more conservative than the “Great Potatoes. Tasty Destinations” state? (No disrespect is meant toward that beautiful state, or its flabbergasting former slogan.)” Dave Eggers in the NYT.