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Idaho Weekly Briefing – July 2

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for July 2. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com.

The two political parties in Idaho held their conventions – the Republicans in Pocatello and Democrats at Caldwell – and both generated some headlines. The Republicans had Oliver North and protests, and Democrats had efforts at working toward clearer self-definition.

A sense of inequity and urgency dominated the testimony of witnesses at at June 27 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on expanding government compensation for victims of cancer known as “downwinders.” S. 197, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2017, was the subject of the hearing.

Idaho is on pace to have a carryover of more than $100 million when its budget year ends Saturday, according to the latest numbers presented to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee Monday.

Idaho Supreme Court Justice Joel D. Horton said on June 29 he intends to retire at the end of 2018 from the Idaho Supreme Court.

On June 21, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a requirement that retailers must have a physical presence in a state to collect that state’s sales tax (South Dakota v. Wayfair). The Idaho State Tax Commission is still studying how the decision affects out-of-state retailers, such as online sellers. In a statement, the agency said, “We’re closely watching any actions by the U.S. Congress on this issue. We’ll also continue to follow developing legal issues arising from the decision.”

On June 27, the Department of the Interior announced fiscal year 2018 Payment in Lieu of Taxes payments, which compensate local governments for the inability to collect property taxes on federal land.

A court order calling for Meridian city to build a new magistrate court facility has been vacated. On June 27 the Ada County Fourth Judicial District Court issued a decision to vacate the 1994 and 2018 orders after a long-term solution, presented to Legislators during this past session, was approved.

Idaho ranks last in the nation for early childhood education participation. The early years of a child’s life lay the foundation for future success. Yet Idaho is one of only six states that does not invest in prekindergarten or school readiness programs.

Idaho’s Hispanic population grew 3.6 percent between mid-2016 and mid-2017, up from a 3.4 percent increase the prior year, according to recent estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The total number of Hispanic residents of 215,392 accounted for 12.5 percent of the state’s population of 1,716,943.

State regulators have denied an Intermountain Gas Co. proposal to implement an Infrastructure Integrity Management Mechanism, which would have allowed the company to recover from ratepayers the costs incurred on infrastructure improvements made during the previous calendar year.

IMAGE One of the Boise city library proposal design concepts, in this case the view from the Greenbelt and Anne Frank memorial. (photo/Boise city)
 

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