Idaho JFAC Co-Chairman Cameron a little late Monday -- with a sterling excuse

Sen. Dean Cameron showed up 25 minutes late today for the beginning of "Education Week," when the budget committee hears pitches for funding university, junior college and K-12 education.

When Cameron took his seat on the dais at 8:25 a.m., Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, had the gavel and gave her co-chair an opportunity to explain himself. Cameron is typically in the Capitol by 7 a.m., and rarely late for the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that writes Idaho's budget.

Idaho's Labrador says Obama is 'shameful' to use children to drive his anti-gun agenda

Republican Congressman Raul Labrador is critical of President Obama's news conference and executive order prompted aimed at curbing gun violence. The president had children attend his announcement last week of executive orders and a legislative agenda prompted by last month's Connecticut school shooting that left 20 elementary students dead.

1358783992 Idaho's Labrador says Obama is 'shameful' to use children to drive his anti-gun agenda Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RIP Earl Weaver, may umpires kick dirt on your grave

The news that Earl Weaver, the Hall of Fame manager of the Baltimore Orioles, died Saturday leaves me awash in youthful memories.

Otter's press secretary back at work, credits emergency crews, colleagues and former Speaker Newcomb after Thursday scare

Jon Hanian says he suffered from an allergic reaction, anaphylaxic shock, when he began to pass out at the Capitol on Thursday morning.

Hanian said he was on the phone with former House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, now a top aide to BSU President Bob Kustra. Newcomb called the governor's office to be sure his colleagues knew what was up.

Here's an email I received an email from Hanian this morning:

1358531876 Otter's press secretary back at work, credits emergency crews, colleagues and former Speaker Newcomb after Thursday scare Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

JFAC cancels Idaho's 'listening hearings' on the budget after two-year experiment

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Dean Cameron announced this morning that hearings that more than 1,700 citizens to the Capitol in the past two years have been cancelled because leadership asked the joint budget committee end the practice.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee was to have held two hearings this year: Feb. 1 on education, natural resources and general government agencies, and Feb. 8 on health and human services, public safety and economic development agencies.

1358534801 JFAC cancels Idaho's 'listening hearings' on the budget after two-year experiment Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho's Labrador: 'I get calls almost every day asking me to run for governor'

Republican Rep. Raul Labrador is profiled in Spokane's alternative weekly, the Pacific Northwest Inlander, which includes several juicy tidbits for Labrador watchers.

Labrador told me last week that he hadn't made up his mind about a bid for governor in 2014, a statement he repeated to reporter Daniel Walters Monday. But the “I get calls almost every day asking me to run for governor,” line may be a signal that Labrador is preparing the ground for a run.

First bill passes Idaho House -- income tax conformance with IRS

After a brief delay to return the measure to committee for a hearing, the House approved its annual conformance measure.

"This just uncomplicates the matter of filing your tax return," said House Bill 1's sponsor, Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg.

The bill was returned to committee Tuesday for a hearing, after some lawmakers had questions, including whether conformance would ensnare Idaho in enforcing provisions of the Affordable Care Act. That is not the case, Raybould told the House Thursday.

Otter's press secretary leaves Capitol in ambulance, now home resting

Shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday, Gov. Butch Otter's spokesman and a former reporter at Channel 2, was taken out of the Capitol on a gurney by Ada County Paramedics.

Paramedics provided supplemental oxygen to Hanian, as he was wheeled out to the ambulance. As he was surrounded by Idaho State Police officers and Capitol security officers, Hanian gave me a wry smile and said, "Allergic reaction to a medication."

By mid-afternoon Thursday, Gov. Otter's chief of staff, David Hensley, said Hanian was resting at home.

No 'Capital for a Day' coming for Boise, or other major cities

A reader asked yesterday whether Boise has ever had or will ever get a visit from Gov. Butch Otter's "Capital for a Day" roadshow.

In short, said Otter spokesman Jon Hanian, "No." The aim of the monthly visits is to bring state officials closer to out-of-the way constituents.

"We have not conducted a Capital for a Day for Boise or any of the other larger cities," Hanian said. "These are primarily designed for the smaller and more rural communities."

In a news release Wednesday, Otter said he would bring Lt. Gov. Brad Little and top agency officials to Kuna on Jan. 25.

Idaho sheepman sheepishly seeks switch from solons

A slightly late and fully contrite Stan Boyd told the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday morning that last year's revamping of the Idaho Sheep Commission into the Idaho Sheep and Goat Health Board overlooked a key aspect of the reform: Goatmen.

The new law, 2012's House Bill 512, revised assessments on producers, including goatmen, and made other changes. But a key driver of the measure was overlooked when no provision was made for having a goat producer on the board.

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