Melba School Board urges Land Board to back Luna's $52.8 million proposal

The board voted unanimously Monday to support Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's proposal to draw $52.8 million from the state's endowment reserve fund to close a funding gap for public schools.

The Land Board meets Wednesday to consider Luna's request to tap the $90.4 million Public Schools Earnings Reserve Fund to help offset a $135 million shortfall for K-12 education.

Idaho business could face penalties for hiring undocumented workers

Idaho employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers could face penalties, including the loss of license, under a bill introduced Tuesday.

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, co-sponsored the legislation, which is one of several immigration bills that could be brought this session.

The bill does not mandate that employers use the E-Verify system to check an employee’s status, but considers use of the system a “safe harbor” from prosecution.

“This is only if you knowingly hire somebody who is illegal,” Labrador said.

Bill would require Idaho voters show photo ID at polling places

Idaho voters will be required to provide photo identification or sign an affidavit that they are who they say they are before they are given a ballot at polling places under a proposal introduced Tuesday by House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star.

The bill, which was printed by the House State Affairs Committee, would make it a felony to vote using someone else’s name.

Moyle said it was hard to tell if anyone had committed voter fraud in this way, but that the issue “has been a concern for a while. This is a start in the right direction.”

Boise Bench Democrats holding public forum Wednesday

The three Democrats representing District 17 will discuss the legislative session and take questions for two hours Wednesday evening.

Sen. Elliot Werk and Reps. Bill Killen and Sue Chew will meet with constituents in the library at South Junior High School, 805 Shoshone St., from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The trio also hold office hours on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Borah High School's Career Center, except once a month, when they host the public forum.

Canyon County Democrats plan caucus Tuesday

Any Democrat who will be 18 by Nov. 2 may participate in the caucus, set for 7 p.m. at the Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third St. S.

Christine Allred, wife of gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred, will be the featured speaker, and the program will include information on volunteer and leadership roles in the party.

Participants will elect 29 delegates to represent Canyon County at the state Democratic convention June 10-12 in Worley.

For more information, e-mail, call 454-8742 or go online to

Idaho Human Rights Commissioners unanimously approve merger with Department of Labor

The Idaho Human Rights Commission has unanimously endorsed legislation to merge the commission and the Idaho Department of Labor.

The nine commissioners met last week, according to a Department of Labor news release Monday, and "expressed confidence that the proposed merger between the two agencies will have multiple benefits."

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Liberal campaign school to make third trip to Idaho

Camp Wellstone, founded in the name of the late-Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, will be back in Idaho in May for the third time in five years.

The three-day camp is sponsored by Wellstone Action, a national center for training and leadership development for the progressive movement. The nonprofit was founded in the name of Wellstone and his wife, Sheila, who died in a 2002 plane crash while Wellstone was campaigning for a third term.

The couple's daughter, Marcia, also died in the crash. Their surviving children, David and Mark, co-chair Wellstone Action.

Simpson says he's working to stop EPA from "overreaching" on greenhouse gas regs

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson is part of a bipartisan group cosponsoring new legislation to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

H.R. 4572 was introduced Tuesday by Reps. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.

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