Politics & Government

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Amber Pence, the City of Boise’s former chief lobbyist, was hired by and worked for Mayor Dave Bieter’s re-election campaign while still employed by the city.

vote, election
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Friday is the last day to register to vote for the November General Election in Idaho. Well, kind of.


Alex Brandon / AP Images

While attending a panel on women in business in Nampa on Wednesday, Republican Sen. Jim Risch refused to answer questions regarding President Donald Trump. Idaho Matters talks to Boise State Public Radio reporter Heath Druzin about his attempt to pose questions to the senator, who is the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Updated Oct. 11 to reflect a new public statement from Idaho Sen. Jim Risch regarding the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry.

Boise, City Hall, City Of Trees
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

Short-term rentals have become a popular alternative to hotels and have created side hustle income for homeowners, in some cases helping folks cover their mortgage. But some critics say these kind of rentals are compounding affordable housing problems. The City of Boise is looking at creating rules on short-term rentals. The group Boise Regional Realtors is pushing back on this idea. 

Kelley Minars

Local elections are less than a month away and competition is heating up. With three front runners up for the Boise mayor seat, a runoff could happen, which would be the first runoff in the race’s history.

 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are getting an early look at budget requests from state agencies in the face of declining revenues.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio


 Seven people are running for the City of Boise’s top job. The crowded field of mayoral candidates means there's a chance no one will get a majority of votes November 5. If that happens, a historic runoff election will be prompted. We talk with a political pundit from the College of Idaho about the chances for a runoff, and why it should matter to voters.

 

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

There are two initiatives up for a vote in November in the City of Boise. One is in regards to a new stadium, while the other deals with a possible new main library in downtown Boise. The group Boise Working Together is behind these grassroots initiatives, arguing there should be more citizen oversight and direction before costly civic endeavors are begun. Idaho Matters talks with members of the group to learn more.

 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

In one year, Idahoans without an enhanced form of their state driver’s license or a passport won’t be able to board a plane, enter federal buildings or be allowed on military bases.

Boise City Hall Brick Building Logo
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

White supremacy will not be tolerated in Boise —that’s according to city council members who unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday rejecting such ideology.

Jose Luis Magana / AP Images

September 24 marks the 7th anniversary of National Voter Registration Day, a day aimed at raising awareness for voters. Ada County is celebrating the holiday by making it more convenient to register for voting on the holiday. Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane joins Idaho Matters to detail the plans for the day.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho lawmaker is drafting a bill that would allow people falsely convicted of a crime to get restitution.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter focused more on his record than new ideas in Wednesday’s state of the city address.

wbeem / Flickr

Idaho’s U.S. senators are signing onto a bill that would keep federal dollars flowing to counties for the next 10 years.

AP

Idaho lawmakers met Friday to review funding options for Medicaid. With one federal application having been rejected, will the revised October 2019 submission make the cut? Boise State Public Radio's James Dawson joins Idaho Matters to analyze the future of Medicaid expansion.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Counties could end up paying for a significant part of Idaho’s voter-approved Medicaid expansion after it’s rolled out next year.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

With the values of houses – and property taxes – in cities across Idaho skyrocketing, state lawmakers say they want to look at options to bring some relief to homeowners.

E_Bass / Flickr Creative Commons


In 1993 Congress passed the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, widely known as FMLA. But what about paid parental leave? Currently only three states require paid parental leave. Idaho is not one of those states. However, some Idaho companies are making their own policies around family leave. Twin Falls-based Chobani made national headlines last year when the company started offering employees six weeks of paid parental leave. Now, an Idaho law firm has announced a progressive new policy for their fulltime workers.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

 


When states challenge the federal government over things like public land rights or same-sex marriage, taxpayers are on the hook for that. Idaho is one of two states that has a separate bank account to pay for legal fees and settlements in these cases. We talk with Boise State Public Radio reporter James Dawson about the original intention of the fund, and what critics are saying about its actual use.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

When states challenge the federal government over things like public land rights or same-sex marriage rights, taxpayers are on the hook for that.

Idaho is one of at least two states that has a separate bank account to pay for legal fees and settlements in these cases, though critics say it’s giving state legislators more license to pass laws courts have found to be unconstitutional.  

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio


This November, voters in Boise will elect their next mayor. There are seven candidates vying for the position, including current mayor and incumbent Dave Bieter.

 

In August, Idaho Matters and Boise State Public Radio partnered with Conservation Voters for Idaho to present a discussion with some of the candidates focused on environmental issues. At the time CVI planned the event, only four candidates had stepped forward. The candidates on the stage that night in August were Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Boise City Council President Lauren McLean, Adriel Martinez and Cortney Nielsen. Listen to an edited version of their conversation, which covered transporation, water resources, urban sprawl and more. The forum was hosted by Gemma Gaudette of Idaho Matters.

 

Idaho Matters logo
Boise State Public Radio

In November, Boiseans will go to the polls to elect their next mayor. Earlier this summer, Boise State Public Radio partnered with Conservation Voters for Idaho to present a mayoral forum in front of a live audience. Listen in as Idaho Matters host Gemma Gaudette moderates the August 28 panel.

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As Boise’s housing market becomes more and more competitive, how is that impacting renters? The current vacancy rate for rentals in Boise is 3.74%, and the average rent is $1,450. That’s according to Keller Williams Realty

 

We’ve heard about some possibly predatory practices among landlords that impose high fees on renters as they try to find housing. Boise City Council member Lisa Sanchez joins Idaho Matters to talk about her new proposal to regulate the fees some landlords are charging renters in the application process.

Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio

Reclaim Idaho wants to tax folks in upper brackets to pay for education. They succeeded with a citizen initiative for Medicaid Expansion. Will this initiative be as successful? Will they face opposition? Will the measure provide tax relief in rural districts? Can the Idaho Legislature still override the initiative? Idaho Matters asks College of Idaho Professor Jasper LiCalzi, who wrote the book "Idaho politics and Government" to weigh in.

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