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Idaho Politics Weekly Newsletter

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Your one-stop source for Idaho political, government and public policy information, presented by Zions Bank. Subscribe to have our weekly e-newsletter delivered to your in-box each Monday morning.

This Week In Idaho Politics

  Poll: Idahoans are concerned about loss of farmland
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Forty percent of the farmland in Treasure Valley has been lost to development over the last 40 years.And a new study by Boise State University shows that 110,000 to 240,000 more acres in the valley will be lost to development in t...

Ahlquist says opponents are running scared
By Chuck Malloy, Idaho Politics Weekly Contributor
Although the Republican primary election is several months away, it's starting to feel like April as far as the governor's race is concerned.It's getting testy now, and will be getting downright nasty before it's over. On the bright side, we'll have ...

  Legislature doing its job, but some bills need to die
By Steve Taggart, Idaho Politics Weekly Contributor
This year's Idaho Legislature is tackling issues of importance to Idahoans. I am confident we'll see a balanced budget (as required) with a strong boost in education spending.  Idaho individuals and businesses will receive substantial tax relief...

Idaho Legal Aid needs & deserves help from the state
By Jim Jones
Idaho Legal Aid Services provides a legal lifeline to low income Idahoans with serious legal problems, including domestic violence, abuse and neglect of children, and elder abuse. It is Idaho's largest non-profit law firm, with offices located around...

Guest opinion: Our first president's lasting address
By Sen. Mike Crapo
George Washington's Farewell Address is read in the United States Senate annually in observation of the birthday of our nation's first president, who led our country during the American Revolutionary War and helped form our government as a ...

  Press release: Blaukoff supports closing loophole
By Staff
Boise - Idaho Gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff has expressed full support for Rep. Melissa Wintrow's legislation (H429) aimed at closing a loophole in Idaho law that dictates sexual assault kits are paid for.  Under existing ...

  Guest opinion: Ahlquist & education are answer to Idaho's job riddle
By Josh Johnston
Idaho poses a jobs riddle.  Our unemployment rate (2.9 percent) is among the best 10 states.  But our median household income is in the bottom 10.  While nearly everyone can find a job, we earn 10 percent less than the national average...

Brad Little press release: Increasing choice & opportunity in education
By Staff
Lt. Gov. Brad Little has released his education plan for Idaho students and it shows his commitment to parental choice and opportunity. Little is the only gubernatorial candidate to release a plan that provides a comprehensive strategy and not contin...

Guest opinion: One of best tax reform bills ever
By Congressman Raul Labrador
President Trump recently signed one of the most consequential tax reform bills in history. This bill, which I voted for, reflects the priorities that I have championed since I first came to Washington: simplifying the tax code, lowering overall rates...

Press release: Wintrow seeks to prevent abusers from having guns
By Staff
Boise  Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, has introduced a proposal in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee to prohibit people convicted of domestic violence from having guns by making it a misdemeanor for anyone who has been convicted within the...

  Letter to Editor: Crapo leadership needed again
By Tyler Hurst
Small business owners are lucky to have Sen. Mike Crapo looking after their interests in Washington. He's led the way on reducing or eliminating Obama-era regulations like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's ill-conceived ban on arbitration, a...

  Campaign roundup: Governor candidates pitch positions to voters
By Staff
Labrador unveils plan to defend traditional values. Gubernatorial candidate Ral Labrador released his plan to defend traditional Idaho values and strengthen Idaho families, the fourth plank of his Conservative Vision for a Stronger Idaho.Labrador's s...

Political Calendar Highlights

See our full political calendar.

Idaho Falls Chamber State Of The Cities Breakfast
When: Tuesday, Feb 20, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Where: INL Meeting Center, 775 University Blvd, Idaho Falls, ID  
Save the date for the annual State Of The Cities Breakfast with the mayors of Idaho Falls and Ammon. Each year this event provides an opportunity for the community to hear from the mayors as they recap the past year's highlights and bring attention to things to look forward to in the coming year. More info.

Boise Chamber 2018 Congressional Forum with U.S. Senator Mike Crapo              
When: Wednesday, Feb 21, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Boise Centre, 850 W Front St, Boise, ID
Senator Crapo will review current federal issues with forum attendees. More info and register here.

Osburn Dems Pizza & Politics
When: Friday, Feb 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Osburn Senior Center 726 E Mullan Ave, Osburn, ID
The IDLCC and Representative Mat Erpelding will provide a legislative update and answer any questions. Come join fellow Shoshone County Democrats for a great dinner conversation. More info and register here.

Twin Falls County Lincoln Day Dinner
When: Saturday, Feb 24, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Canyon Crest Center, 330 Canyon Crest Dr., Twin Falls, ID
5 p.m. social hour, 6 p.m. dinner; Tickets cost $60. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 208-420-3232 with questions or for further information.

To submit events to the Idaho Politics Weekly calendar please use our contact form here.

Idaho Headlines

Idaho school budget set with 5.9% increase for next year, no rancor or dissent (Spokesman-Review)

Alternative tax bill killed; Idaho House panel dumps Senate chair's proposal (Spokesman-Review)

Editorial: Idaho has a chance to pass its own plan to cover uninsured Idahoans, control costs (Idaho Statesman)

Patients in crisis can become felons under battery law, warns lawmaker urging change (Idaho Statesman)

Lawmaker's pitch - insurance plans that skirt Obamacare - mirrors governor's effort (Idaho Statesman)

Labrador visits Twin, debuts 'family values' plan (Times-News)

Marty Trillhaase: When politicians fall short, Idahoans step up (Lewiston Tribune)

Idaho Senate Committee Delays Vote On Proposed Science Standards (Boise State Public Radio)

Governor Butch Otter Supports Lt. Governor Brad Little's Role In New Health Insurance Plans (Boise State Public Radio)

Sen. Stennett announces re-election bid (Mountain Express)

Tax bill a stout change for small brewers (Press-Tribune)

Tax plan's impact on Idaho corporations varies (Press-Tribune)

Businesses mostly like unemployment insurance tax cut (Idaho Business Review)

'Ban the box' bill clears legislative hurdle (Idaho Business Review)

Otter's executive order is great, but Little's campaigning on it is not (Idaho Freedom Foundation)

Trespass bill backed by Idaho farm groups sent to House floor (Capital Press)

Legislation would bolster Idaho's Seed Indemnity Fund law (Capital Press)

School budget debate hinges on health care funding (Idaho Education News)

Controversial Wi-Fi contract coming to an end (Idaho Education News)

Ahlquist supporting PAC claim called into question (Idaho Reports)

The Idaho health care bill is on life support (Idaho Reports)

National Headlines

CNN and MSNBC Helped Russia Sow Discord by Promoting Fake Anti-Trump Rally (NewsBusters)

Will Anthony Kennedy retire? (New York Times)

Florida school shooting: Trump 'supportive' of better gun background checks (BBC News)

Pennsylvania Gets a New District Map (Wall Street Journal)

Trump endorses Mitt Romney for Senate (CNN)

Trump to break bread with reporters at tony Gridiron Dinner (CNN)

Union Power, Email Privacy In The Balance At New Supreme Court Sitting (Daily Caller)

'Spin the bottle' and a kegerator: #MeToo movement lawmaker faces new sexual misconduct allegations (Politico)

John Kelly, Chinese officials caused commotion over nuclear football in Beijing, report says (FOX News)

N.Y. employee's job in limbo after seen berating Delta flight attendant in viral video (New York Daily News)

Washington DC has given Elon Musk a permit for his Hyperloop (BGR)