Idaho Speaker Bedke headed for new speaker training, courtesy of big business

House Speaker Scott Bedke will leave his gavel with Majority Leader Mike Moyle on Thursday and Friday to attend orientation for more than 20 new speakers at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

The training is sponsored by the Massachusetts-based State Legislative Leaders Foundation and runs Thursday through Saturday in Austin, hosted by Texas Speaker Joe Straus. The group also holds annual meetings for speakers.

New bill would elect Idaho county commissioners by district, shrinking scale of campaigns

Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise, says his move to narrow the size of voting districts is not aimed at boosting Democrats' chances but to make county commissioners more sensitive to regional differences.

"It's to get people in those zones to have the ability to get true representation," Durst said Wednesday, after the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to print his bill.

1358966234 New bill would elect Idaho county commissioners by district, shrinking scale of campaigns Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AAA Idaho floats idea of banning cell talking for drivers 18 and under

It took three years to get the 2012 ban on texting for all drivers passed in Idaho, so AAA Idaho's Dave Carlson acknowledges his group faces a considerable hurdle in getting the law amended in 2013.

"It don't know if it'll fly, but we're talking it up," said Carlson, AAA Idaho's director of public affairs.

The wrinkle pitched by AAA would add a ban on the use of cell phones for voice conversations, but only for drivers 18 and younger.

Idaho's Labrador lands Immigration Subcommittee post, right spot to pursue top priority

Sophomore Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, has said his decision on whether to run for governor in 2014 will hinge in significant part on prospects for immigration reform in the new Congress.

Labrador got good news Tuesday on that front, when he was assigned to the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. Labrador got the post even after refusing to vote for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Jan. 3.

Labrador's other Judiciary assignment is the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.

1358957223 Idaho's Labrador lands Immigration Subcommittee post, right spot to pursue top priority Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Kristin Armstrong: Superior attitude, work ethic, focus and exemplary conduct

Idaho's two-time Olympic gold medalist in cycling, Kristin Armstrong, is commended in House Concurrent Resolution 4, which was introduced Wednesday morning.

Armstrong wasn't present in the House State Affairs Committee, but told the Statesman in an email that she hopes to appear later in the process.

The resolution is sponsored by freshman Rep. Hy Kloc, D-Boise, who said Armstrong deserved recognition not only for her winning gold at the London Olympics last year, but for her volunteer work, including serving as a YMCA ambassador.

Idaho State's Vailas: Keep boosting education technology in K-12

Idaho State University President Arthur Vailas made his annual appearance to the House Education Committee Tuesday and said ISU is moving forward with online education and requires online experience in hiring new faculty.

Asked what the state should do with about $31 million left on the table by repeal of the "Students Come First" laws, Vailas said the state should expand its investment in technology across the state, particularly in the smallest and most rural schools.

Vailas said the future includes digital and distance learning.

Free advocacy training for citizen lobbyists next week in Boise

The volunteer group TransForm Idaho is offering two hours of training on Jan. 30 at the Boise Public Library Hillcrest branch.

A news release follows:

TransForm Idaho to sponsor Legislative Advocacy Training

Learn how to have your voice heard by your Representatives

Wednesday, January 30

What's the best way to get your opinion heard on proposed legislation? How do you find out what bills are being introduced during the 2013 Legislative session? How do you effectively communicate with your Legislator?

Luna presses House committee to affirm new rule limiting protests, events on Capitol Mall

Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna reacted forcefully to last week's Senate committee decision to reject new rules placing limits on time and place for public use of the Capitol block and Capitol Mall.

Luna rejected arguments that the rules are overreaching.

1359142949 Luna presses House committee to affirm new rule limiting protests, events on Capitol Mall Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Speaker Bedke fulfills promise: Reformed Ethics Committee proposed in Idaho House

A five-person Ethics Committee which would be chosen by the majority and minority caucuses was proposed on behalf of House Speaker Scott Bedke Monday.

Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, presented the measure to change House rules to the House Judiciary & Rules Committee, which introduced the bill. A hearing will be held later.

1358804469 Speaker Bedke fulfills promise: Reformed Ethics Committee proposed in Idaho House Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho Education committees to hold joint Feb. 1 listening hearing, replacing cancelled JFAC session

The 2 1/2-hour session is set for the same time and place as the hearing in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that was cancelled by GOP leadership last week.

1358799473 Idaho Education committees to hold joint Feb. 1 listening hearing, replacing cancelled JFAC session Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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