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Posts published in “Day: March 21, 2015”

Through the weeds

idaho RANDY

For the last couple of decades, much of the work at the Idaho Legislature during the opening weeks has been devoted to examining the state’s administrative rules – those proposed or tentatively adopted during the previous year – and deciding which if any should be rejected.

Usually there are a few, and there are this year. The legislature’s work on administrative rules is stretching out all the way to the end of the session this time; several concurrent resolutions (the legislative tool for acting on administrative rules) calling for rejections were introduced as recently as last week, when lawmakers theoretically were preparing for adjournment. (Don’t place any bets on that happening this side of April, by the way.)

After lawmakers finish parsing through fat binders of densely written legalese, which is some of the less-known and more tedious work they do, a relative handful of rules usually wind up facing possible rejection. Generally, these are rules which have drawn complaints or concerns from someone, whether the regulated, the regulators, legal counsel or someone else. At this writing, 11 such rejections have been proposed, and several of those have cleared the legislature.

Legislative oversight of the rules makes sense. Developed and published by state agencies, these rules have the effect of law, and they are imposed through the authority of laws passed by the legislature. They do it that way because most state laws are relatively general, even a little vague, and that’s not a criticism. It’s the business of the legislature to set the policy, not so much to bury itself deeply in the weeds of administrative rules, where things really get, ah, specific.

Very specific. Very detailed.

Here’s an example of a rule proposed for legislative rejection, from the “non-technical” (that is, reader-friendly) description offered by the agency: “The Board of Veterinary Medicine issues certifications to qualified veterinary technician applicants. Current rule provides several ways a certified veterinary technician (CVT) applicant can demonstrate completion of the educational requirements for certification. Two of the existing methods for an applicant to satisfy these requirements are to submit evidence of graduation from a veterinary technology program equivalent to a program approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association or, if a foreign graduate, graduation from a program of veterinary medicine from a foreign school approved by the Board. The Board has determined that it lacks the expertise and means to adequately evaluate whether a non-accredited CVT program is equivalent to an accredited AVMA program or to approve foreign schools of veterinary medicine. To ensure uniformity in entry-level knowledge of certified veterinary technicians in Idaho, IDAPA is being amended to delete these provisions.” (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

About climate change in Idaho's mountains (Boise Statesman)
City of North Bonneville running its own pot shop (Boise Statesman)
State road funding bill dies in House (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Memorial calls for federal judge impeachments (Lewiston Tribune, TF Times News)
Teacher pay bill funds some consensus (Lewiston Tribune)
Planning for parks in Nampa, Caldwell (Nampa Press Tribune)
New concealed carry bill moves ahead (Nampa Press Tribune)
Buhl Herald newspaper will close (TF Times NEws)

Bear paws inquiry underway at Eugene (Eugene Register Guard)
Good salmon fishing at Oregon coast this year (KF Herald & News)
New asphalt plant gets planning approval (Medford Tribune)
Brown announces drone range funds (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Cops planning for more stoned drivers (Pendleton E Oregonian)
GMO potatoes, apples get FDA ok (Medford Tribune, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Pendleton nearing pot shop rules (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Ethics, transparency bills stall at legislature (Portland Oregonian)
Federal drought aid offered (Portland Oregonian)
Max will try pay-to-enter at two new Orange stops (Portland Oregonian)

Impact statement on coal terminal will take a year (Bellingham Herald)
Bill would add fiscal note to initiatives (Bremerton Sun)
Stillamguamish Valley pushes on (Everett Herald)
Snohomish County may yet change building rules (Everett Herald)
Homeless at shelter told not to call cops (Longview News)
FDA okays some GMO apples, potatoes (Olympian)
Federal inquiry into state auditor expands (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Will drought emergency areas grow? (Vancouver Columbian)
Feds ordered to pay farmer attorney fees (Yakima Herald Republic)