Local Transit, IEA & Grocery Tax

A watershed hearing is being held this morning on local option taxes for transit and transportation. The bill being debated is brought by an opponent of local option taxes and will be opposed by most local option supporters. Media reports this morning call that coalition fractured. Testimony at the hearing will tell, but it appears the counties were thrown a bone and peeled off to support amending the Constitution.

Luna’s final efforts to change teacher policy and pay failed Thursday when the Senate Education Committee decided against expediting teacher firings with opposition from school boards, who apparently asked for it in the first place. Also, Tamarack getting worried, grocery tax debate in Senate but not vote and honkers taking over the place… in today’s Newsrack.

Statesman: Transportation coalition splinters. AP: coalition fractured. Basically counties are on board with Constitutional amendment, rest of coalition not. Hearing this morning. Clegg, Boise City Council: “The Treasure Valley so badly needs the ability to take care of our problems that some people are willing to accept what may not be the best deal.” Moyle, in hot re-election battle: “The governor has been working with them We had an agreement. Now they throw up their hands at the last minute.” Sewell in the Statesman.

Teachers drive another nail. Plan to speed teacher firings pulled from Senate Ed Committee: Sen. Goedde: “The school boards couldn’t agree that binding arbitration was an acceptable track,” Goedde said, adding the next time a school board member complains to him how difficult it is to fire a bad teacher, “I’ll remind them of this bill.” Miller, AP in the Times-News. Luna: Teachers are the big losers. Allen in the Statesman. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip]. Hopkins in the Times-News.

Stun gun regs die in committee. Bill would have required permit to carry Tasers, other types of stun guns. Died on tie vote in House State affairs. Boise Rep. Luker: “I’m concerned about taking a tool away from law-abiding citizens. I think our citizens need to have some options.” Separate bill to bar felons from carrying stun guns passes Senate. Shifrin, AP in the Statesman. Rep. Anderson… stunned. Hoffman on Paleo.

Report: Idaho roadless rule would allow 8 times more logging. Center for Biological Diversity, 49 other enviro groups oppose proposed rule. Riddler, AP in the Press Tribune. Report [pdf].

Majority owners contemplates selling Tamarack. Who’s buying? Pig in a poke. Tamarack qua Tamarack. Alan Shealy, Boise City Council, finance guy: “If people think bankruptcy is not a big deal, they don’t understand the context of what is going on in the credit markets. We’re in a slow-motion train wreck, and there is no way to determine how this will end.” Dey in the Statesman.

On the Blogos: Geese quack up session. Russell’s Eye.

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