Otter's 'Capital for a Day' coming to Kuna

Gov. Butch Otter's monthly roadshow that brings him, other elected officials and agency chiefs to cities across Idaho will be in Kuna Jan. 25.

Idaho Senate rejects time and loudspeaker restrictions on Occupy Boise-prompted rules

The Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday rejected three sections of a 39-page rule that was adopted in response to the 2012 Occupy Boise protest.

Three rule sections were rejected: A seven-day limit on protests and other events; all time restrictions, including a ban on events on the main Capitol steps between midnight and 6 a.m., and a requirement for a permit to use an amplifying device and a provision allowing police or Statehouse security to shut down a "disruptive" event.

1358360102 Idaho Senate rejects time and loudspeaker restrictions on Occupy Boise-prompted rules Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho's Labrador on the GOP: 'I want us to be known as the pro-immigration party'

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, was one of six panelists at a Tuesday Capitol Hill forum sponsored by Politico, saying, “I want us to be known as the pro-immigration party. I want us to be known that we welcome people to this country, that we want people to be successful. I want our party to take this lead on immigration reform.”

Labrador also advocated a multi-pronged approach to immigration reform in the new Congress, rather an a comprehensive bill.

1358352156 Idaho's Labrador on the GOP: 'I want us to be known as the pro-immigration party' Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Landmark day for Boise Sen. Durst -- 33rd birthday and preacher for a day

Sen. Branden Durst filled in for the Senate Chaplain James Wibberding on Tuesday, offering a prayer to open the floor session with an appeal to touch all 105 Idaho lawmakers.

Durst, D-Boise, asked that lawmakers feel the hand of God "and they would be able to reach out and use your compassion and your mercy" to "give them hearts to see."

Durst's full prayer follows:

Dear Lord, we thank you so much for the awesome responsibility that you've bestowed upon us to serve this great state.

Idaho's conformance with IRS tax code delayed -- but just by a day or so

The normally routine measure conforming Idaho's income tax code with the federal version was delayed by House Speaker Scott Bedke on Tuesday because the measure didn't get a hearing in committee.

A hearing on House Bill 1 will be held Wednesday morning, said Revenue & Taxation Committee Chairman Gary Collins, R-Nampa.

"We should have had a hearing on it in the first place," Collins said.

Bedke rebuffs Idaho Statesman editorial call to open closed-door caucuses

House Speaker Scott Bedke said Tuesday's editorial reviving the newspaper editorial board's push to open GOP caucuses "predictable."

"I don't see us changing caucus policy," Bedke said.

Bedke did compliment the principal author of the editorial, Chuck Malloy, a former press aide to the House GOP Caucus. Bedke said he helped hire Malloy several years ago as a member of House leadership.

After Labrador-Boehner meeting, BSU prof says Simpson’s right about Labrador's self-inflicted wounds

Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador met with House Speaker John Boehner today, but the sophomore lawmaker is withholding comment on the nature of their conversation.

"I had a very good meeting," Labrador told my McClatchy colleague, David Lightman, this afternoon. Labrador smiled and laughed when Lightman spoke with him in the Speaker's Lobby outside Boehner's Capitol office, but declined to elaborate.

1358284881 After Labrador-Boehner meeting, BSU prof says Simpson’s right about Labrador's self-inflicted wounds Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bedke: new rule establishing Idaho House Ethics Committee near introduction

House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said he hopes to have the rule introduced next week.

"We're floating drafts of the proposed rule around," Bedke said Tuesday. "We made a few changes, minor tweaks."

Bedke said the GOP caucus, which holds 57 of the 70 House seats, will discuss the rule establishing a standing Ethics Committee in a closed-door caucus Thursday.

The rule will go to House Judiciary & Rules Committee, Bedke said. It would be subject to approval by the full House.

Dominated by newbies, House Education Committee begins wrestling with repeal of 'Luna Laws'

With nine freshmen on his 16-member panel, House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt began their initiation with what some might liken to the Legislature's version of frat house hazing -- a review of the budget impacts of voter repeal of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 in November.

At the close of a 75-minute session with a top budget analyst, DeMordaunt surveyed his committee. "Alright," he said, "I'll assume you all understand this perfectly," bringing laughter from the committee.

1358275218 Dominated by newbies, House Education Committee begins wrestling with repeal of 'Luna Laws' Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho Democrats aim to boost year-round staff to four

Idaho Democrats hope to smooth out the boom-and-bust staffing cycle that follows the election calendar, the party's executive director, Sally Boynton Brown, said Monday.

The party has typically had five employees during election years, shrinking to two in off years, Brown said.

"My goal is to have four staff, year-round," Brown said.

Brown said she's hoping to raise the necessary money by Feb. 23, the party's big annual fundraiser, the Frank and Bethine Church Gala and Auction.

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