Politics & Government

Stories about politics, policy, and how government works.


 Senator Mike Crapo joins Idaho Matters live to answer listener questions about the government shutdown, border security, foreign policy and anything else.

Jeremy Brooks / Flickr

This week, the director of the Idaho State Liquor Division appeared before the legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Appropriations Committee. Along with putting in the agency’s yearly budget request, the director shared big revenue projections.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are reviving a bill to give judges more discretion when it comes to sentencing certain people charged with drug trafficking.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

About 300 people took to the capitol steps in Boise Monday demanding state lawmakers to “do your job” and implement Medicaid expansion without any restrictions.

Stuart B / Flickr

A familiar proposal is making its way through the legislature again this session. Idaho lawmakers are exploring the possibility of doing away with the annual switch to daylight saving time.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Legislature has been in session for four weeks and bills are coming fast and furious from lawmakers.

Rakesh Mohan, Director of the Office of Performance Evaluations.Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public RadioEdit | Remove

Every state legislature spends money and someone has to keep track of how well that money is being spent.

In Idaho, that’s the job of the folks at the Office of Performance Evaluations. They spend their time investigating stage agencies and programs to find out how they are doing.

The Office released a report in January on the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center that made headlines around the state.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. Brad Little is taking aim at reducing the “state regulatory burdens on Idaho citizens and businesses” with his first two executive orders.


Freshman representatives Steve Berch (D-Boise) and Jake Ellis (D-Boise) recently held a joint town hall and answered questions to a packed house. Representatives Berch and Ellis join Idaho Matters to share the issues raised at the forum.

Idaho Legislature

A push in the Idaho Legislature to ban cell phone bans is moving forward. Republican Representative Chad Christensen from eastern Idaho thinks there’s no issue with driving and holding a cell phone to your ear. He finds laws that prohibit the practice in Idaho Falls, Blaine County and other places in the state too restrictive.

SenatorJamesRisch / Youtube

Idaho’s Jim Risch was among the senators to question the heads of all the nation’s intelligence agencies in the annual hearing on worldwide threats this week. Risch used his time to highlight a security threat striking a particular Treasure Valley company.


The government shutdown proved to be devastating for hundreds of thousands of federal employees and it cost the American economy billions of dollars. Congress and the president agreed to re-open for another three weeks while all sides continue to work out federal budgeting and agreeable attention to border security. Idaho Matters asks listener questions of Senator Jim Risch about the shutdown, border security, foreign relations and the investigations into Russian interference with the 2016 election.

college of idaho

Jasper LiCalzi, a College of Idaho professor of political economy, recently published a book about Idaho politics that looks at Gem State government through the prism of the community, rather than the perspective of red/blue. LiCalzi joins Idaho Matters to talk about Idaho Politics and Government: Culture Clash and Conflicting Values in the Gem State and how new perspectives could lead to more productive discourse.


Some medical providers aren’t handing out doses of life-saving drugs that can reverse an opioid overdose because of the way an Idaho law is written.

Canadian Pacific / Flickr

Following the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, federal workers are back on the job this Monday. Among the people reporting for work are IRS employees. With tax season here, and people preparing to file, they could be in store for some surprises this year.