Dams, Taxes & Repeals

A few lawmakers joined a noontime rally outside the Annex Wednesday to oppose the war in Iraq. Most walked by unperturbed.

Changes to state retiree benefits are headed to Otter’s desk, another move toward ending the 2008 session. But the roads fight is no closer to resolution with even more new bills promised, including a set from the House Democrats expected today.

Rammell, Google and Areva on today’s Newsrack…

Cut your own ozone. Idaho DEQ hopes Boise Valley residents will drive less, help cut ozone before exceeding new EPA standards. Barker in the Statesman.

$1.8 million approved for two dam raising studies. Not razing. Teton and Minidoka. Lawmakers also looking at new dam on Wieser River. Barker in the Statesman. Cool dam video.

House raises bar for personal property tax repeal… 1 percent. State revenues must increase by 5% if repeal is to take affect. Dem attempt to limit repeal to first 50 grand fails. Druzin in the Statesman.

Senate votes to end state retiree bennies. For future retirees. Caps benefits for current retirees. AP in the Press Tribune.

Rev & Tax votes to end three tax breaks. Chairman Lake: “Is this the end of the process? Absolutely not.” Russell in the Spokesman.

Nielsen croons as road fight looms. House wants ITD audit. Senate wants to raise some cash for roads. Hopkins in the Times-News.

Rammell to run as independent. On Risch is too old ticket. East Idaho veterinarian says he’s young enough for three terms: “Jim Risch is too old to become a U.S. senator. You don’t become a U.S. senator in the sunset of your career… I am a member of the LDS church, which is a significant portion of the electorate.” Risch: “I’d imagine somebody told Ronald Reagan the same thing when he ran for president.” Miller, AP in the Press Tribune.

Minnick stumps in CDA. Sali can’t find the middle. Stewart in the CDA Press.

Five years later. Area war protests. Grandma: “I just think it’s wrong.” Buley in the CDA Press. Boise State Radio.

Idaho National Guard numbers up. State militia is 106% staffed. War is not a deterrent. Murrant in the Press Tribune.

Al-Kidd case to go to trial. Government fails to reach settlement in material witness detention. Abdullah al-Kidd is a former U of I Vandal who was detained in connection with a 2003 terrorism trial. Boone, AP in the Press Tribune.

Iraq, PA speakers at Boise State. Wheels of Justice tour hits local colleges with stories from Iraq and the West Bank. Bus driver Hill: “This is the only way that we as Americans have been speaking out against what our government does.” Taylor and Gause in the Arbiter. Salam Talib on Boise State Radio. [audio].

Google capturing Boise State email biz. Uni is switching to Google mail app for students. Self in the Arbiter.

On the Blogs: A full treatment of Areva’s efforts to get courted. “Idaho Falls has a favorable political climate and a favorable tax climate assuming the Senate passes the pending legislation and the governor signs off.” Yurman at Nuke Notes. And update here.

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