Ozone, Business Equipment & Elecciones

As the Senate takes up the House passed emission testing bill, the Environmental Protection Agency releases new standards for ozone that put the Boise Valley into excessive levels. The new standards are not as stringent as some scientists would have liked.

A bill to end a weird tax – on stuff businesses own – passed the House tax committee Weds. But the favors to businesses come at a weird time too and schools and counties are very worried about the loss of revenue that is inevitable.

Election consolidation, transportation funding and a Tamarack lawsuit… in today’s Newsrack.


Lower ozone limits throw Boise Valley into likely noncompliance. Stringent environmental measures this summer could stave off penalties. Hearing Friday on emission testing bill. Barker in the Statesman. Affects 354 U.S. counties. AP in the B’more Sun. Bush intervened in setting a lower bar than EPA scientists recommended. Wilson in the LA Times.

McGee: Maybe no hearing for those bills. House is coming up with piecemeal transportation funding bills, Senate growing impatient. Moyle: “As soon as we’re getting them, we’re doing them.” Bills include: cut Connecting Idaho, raise car fees, truck fees a bit, truck fees more, $10 more on special plates, shift sales tax into ITD coffers… rental cars… Druzin in the Statesman.

Personal property tax repeal passes House Rev y Tax. School, county officials line up to oppose. Will phase out tax on business equipment over five years. State would provide 2008 levels of funding to reimburse counties. Druzin in the Statesman. Carlson in the IBR. LeFavour: Mother of all tax shifts. Goins in the CDA Press.

Consolidate election dates. Says Roberts, if anyone wants the Legislature to adjourn. Targets school districts who hold their bond levy on the third wednesday of spring break. Similar measures have failed 13 times, so who’s going home now? Miller, AP in the Press Tribune. 93 page bill with six page title. Consolidates more than just dates. Russell in the Spokesman.

Stone off Ed Board? Laird Stone’s term expired March 1, has not been reappointed. His bio is off the Web site. Senate Ed committee will ask governor to mull changes to board duties for next session. Hopkins in the Times News. Shipley, Snake River Alliance: “The only urgency we can discern in this (legislation) is to meet deadlines currently imposed on the state of Idaho by Areva.” Davidson in the Post Register [subscrip].

Senators pimp I.F. to French. French uranium firm wins another round for tax breaks. Getting a better deal than Micron: taxes for Areva would be capped at $400 million. Siddoway: That’s a pile. Pick it up. AP in the Press Tribune.

Tamarack sued. Credit Suisse says resort defaulted on $250 million loan. Owners: we knew it was coming. May scale back some services now. Frank at NewWest.

Craig calling for nuke power plants at Air Force bases. Like Mtn. Home. He calls it job energy security. Air Force not looking at Mtn. Home in bid to build nuke generators. Moeller in the Statesman. More on staffing changes at the Craig HQ. Daly in the Times News.

Human Rights Commish to run for Canyon County Commission. Estella Zamora running for Beebe’s vacant seat. Three GOP challengers: George Combs, Norman Hogg and Kathy Alder. Dooley in the Press Tribune.

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