JEWELL AT SENATE: Interior Secretary-designate Sally Jewell speaks before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in Washington. The committee, which includes Washington Senate Maria Cantwell, was holding a hearing on her confirmation. (image/Office of Senator Cantwell)
In Washington, couple of seemingly counter headlines, about an unemployment rate that remains the same, but overall improvement (albeit modest) in the state economic picture. The two are reconciled to some degree by the additional statistic that the overall number of jobs rose during January, meaning that the rate reflected more people in the labor force.
In Idaho, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee last week drafted a public school budget that seems likely to gain clearance (since there was not a lot of dissension surrounding it). Odds are that will translate to a relatively quick legislative session, possibly ending by the close of this month.