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Idaho Briefing – March 12

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for March 12. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

Friday night marked the end of candidate filing – for partisan and judicial offices, at least – for this year, and more than 300 candidates signed for offices at the legislative level and up. You’ll find them all in this issue.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma on March 8 sent Idaho officials, including Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, a letter rejecting the state’s plan for a “skinny” health insurance plan. Such a plan, it said, runs afoul of the Affordable Care Act.

A group of eight senators and two representatives introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill that will use revenues from energy production on federal lands to help pay for the over $11 billion maintenance backlog at our national parks.

Bipartisan legislation led by Senators Mike Crapo and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and cosponsored by Senator Jim Risch, cleared the Senate today by voice vote. The measure, S.97, known as the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, would create partnerships between private-sector innovators in nuclear energy with government researchers to create the next generation of clean, advanced nuclear power.

Due to a shortage of beds in Idaho’s prisons and jails, the Idaho Department of Correction will soon move 100 more male inmates to the Karnes County Correctional Center in Karnes City, Texas.

The State Board of Education on March 2 voted to take official positions on five separate pieces of education-related legislation being considered by state lawmakers. Board members voted unanimously to support three bills and to oppose two others.

Hunters took more elk and white-tailed deer in 2017 than in 2016, but mule deer harvest was down. With a much milder winter so far, Fish and Game biologists expect the drop in mule deer harvest to be short lived as herds recover from last year’s difficult winter across Central and Southern Idaho.

The Salmon River Ranger District on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests will release the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the Hungry Ridge Restoration project, for public review and comment.

PHOTO The two co-chairs of the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, Senator Shawn Keough (second from left) and Representative Maxine Bell (second from right) were celebrated at an event on March 9 as their panel moved toward wrapping budgeting for this session. (image/Idaho Department of Health & Welfare)

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