Politics & Government

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.

Medicaid, medicaid expansion, ilana rubel
James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Despite intense public pressure and threats of legal action, Gov. Brad Little has signed a bill making it significantly harder for citizens to get an initiative on the ballot.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Gov. Brad Little has vetoed two bills that would constrict executive authority during an emergency and expand legislative powers.

Gustavo Sagrero / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, a freshman Republican from Lewiston, is under investigation by the House ethics committee for allegedly raping an adult legislative volunteer.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho House lawmakers Thursday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would’ve blocked the ability of citizens to legalize any drug through a ballot initiative.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho House lawmakers easily passed a measure that would block any level of government from imposing a mask mandate.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

A bill giving raises for public K-12 teachers died by a single vote in the Idaho House Tuesday, with many Republicans again saying there needs to be stronger protections against teaching children about social justice issues.


The NCAA Monday reaffirmed its support for transgender athletes, saying championships should only be held in locations “free of discrimination.”

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

A $6 million federal grant to boost early childhood education in Idaho passed the state Senate by a single vote Monday.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

After months of negotiations, the Idaho legislature has passed two bills in response to the pandemic that would reign in a governor’s power during an emergency.

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Idaho Republican legislative leaders are alleging the state health department is illegally collecting and maintaining an adult vaccination database.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A proposed $389.4 million tax cut and rebate plan is heading out of committee to the full Idaho Senate for amendments.





Last month, Deb Haaland made history as the first Indigenous person ever confirmed by the Senate to serve in a president's cabinet. In her first official trip as secretary of the Interior, she visited the Mountain West with a focus on tribal issues.

A bill that would outlaw abortions in Idaho after a fetal heartbeat can be detected has passed the state senate. James Dawson has more.


The Idaho Legislature reconvenes Tuesday after several members of the lawmaking body tested positive for COVID-19 in march. The two-week recess means lawmakers are two weeks behind schedule to do the people’s business and then head back to the home districts until next January. 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

State lawmakers have begun dancing the “legislative shuffle” – even with more than a year to go until the 2022 primary.

Heath Druzin / PostIndustrial Magazine


Idahoans have been familiar with far-right groups for a while. But the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 put them back into the national conversation. At least three people from Idaho have been arrested for their involvement in the storming of the federal building.


More recently, anti-government leader Ammon Bundy did a kind of lecture tour in neighboring Utah after mainstream social media platforms responded to the insurrection by cracking down on these kinds of groups.

capitol, statehouse, idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

State government and the decisions legislators make can have a big impact on our daily live. But as local news outlets have struggled fiinancially in recent decades, there are fewer eyes on state government. A 2019 Pew Research Center report found that in the last decade newsroom employment has fell by 25 percent in the United States, with a decline of almost 50% at newspapers.


That lack of accountability journalism can have real consequences for Idahoans.



Marc Johnson was a longtime aide to Idaho Democratic Governor Cecil Andrus. More recently, he’s spent his time researching and writing about political history in Idaho and beyond. His latest book is called “Tuesday Night Massacre: Four Senate Elections and the Radicalization of the Republican Party."


Every year, scores of young people age out of the foster care system. Some of them have nowhere to go. After they age out they don’t have access to the same resources of housing, food or education. Now, a woman who has personal experience with foster care is advocating for change at the state legislature.

Jenny Kane / AP Photo

The Idaho Tax Commission has officially extended the state’s deadline for filing income taxes to May 17.