Idaho will resume paying a $4,500 monthly governor's housing stipend to C.L. "Butch" Otter in June as it clears furniture from the governor's mansion in Boise in preparation for returning the home to the Simplot family.
The state decided this year to give back the hilltop mansion.
That's after Otter declined to live in it and $180,000 annual charges for watering the lawn and maintaining the home threatened to drain a $1.5 million fund to cover housing expenses for the state's chief executive.
For some, public land in the west is a place to camp and recreate. For all of us, these lands are a source of water and the air we breath. That’s especially true in Idaho - where more than half of the land is federally owned and managed. Now, some states like Idaho and Oregon want to take over the management of these federal lands.
Idaho lawmakers continue to move forward with an attempt to get the federal government to transfer some public lands to the state. It's an issue supporters say could happen under centuries-old law. Rocky Barker covers the environment for the Idaho Statesman and has been following this debate in the statehouse. He says Idaho is the latest western state to consider such a move.
The Senate State Affairs committee approved two resolutions that would seek to transfer public lands from the federal government to the state. Rep. Lawerence Denney (R- Midvale) asked the committee to endorse the resolutions.
Denney cited last year’s forest fire season as a reason for state control.
Updated: Several measures working through Idaho’s legislature echo parts of the laws known as Students Come First. Those laws were overturned by voters last November through ballot propositions. (You can read a detailed description of what was in those here.) We’ve put together a rundown of bills that reflect parts of Students Come First which may pass or have already received lawmaker approval.
Idaho lawmakers want to wrap up the 2013 Legislative session Friday. But one big obstacle stands in the way, the $1.3 billion public education budget, which makes up nearly half of the state’s spending. It’s passed the House and comes before the Senate Wednesday morning. And there’s a group of senators that don’t like it.
One of those is Dean Mortimer who was also one of five senators who objected when the budget writing committee passed the schools budget.
“There’s not enough flexibility for our districts in discretionary income,” Mortimer says.
Four months ago Idaho voters repealed three education laws through ballot initiatives. Now nearly a dozen provisions from those laws are working through the Idaho legislature or have already passed.
Idaho residents voted on three propositions to overturn the laws known as Students Come First. But the laws contained dozens of provisions on things like teacher labor relations and increasing classroom technology. Those who pushed for repeal say voters rejected all aspects, period. That’s how Penni Cyr, president of the Idaho Education Association (IEA) sees it.
All Idaho elementary school children might have to learn cursive handwriting. A resolution that asks the State Board of Education to mandate cursive passed the House Education Committee Thursday. The resolution’s sponsor, Republican Linden Bateman of Idaho Falls, says he’s concerned that without cursive, kids won’t be able to read old letters and historic documents.