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Idaho Weekly Briefing – December 24

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for December 17. Would you like to know more? Send us a note at stapilus@ridenbaugh.com.

TO OUR READERS: This edition is the last of 2018, as we take a one-week break for the Christmas holidays. We’ll return on January 7 with an edition covering the end of 2018 and first week of 2019.

More growth in business news continued through the week as unemployment levels dropped to near record lows. How long will those levels persist? Meanwhile, as much of the state saw snow or slush, Idahoans prepared for the Christmas-New Year’s holidays.

Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill and Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Terry L. Myers will step down from their roles as the chief judges effective January 1. U.S. District Judge David C. Nye and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joseph M. Meier will assume the role of chief in their respective courts on January 2, 2019. Judge Winmill and Judge Myers will continue to carry full caseloads.

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6% in November, down slightly from October and continuing at or below 3% for the 15th consecutive month. The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – was 854,243, increasing by 0.1% and essentially unchanged since July.

Governor-elect Brad Little’s transition committee continues its work. Kelley Packer will lead as Bureau Chief of the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licensure. Packer is a former Idaho State Representative from McCammon. Tom Kealey will be the new Director of the Department of Commerce. Kealey is a co-owner of the restaurant chain Chicago Connection and a former executive at Morrison-Knudsen. The chairman and executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party have announced their impending exits which will take place March 16. Chairman Bert Marley, will not seek re-election when the post is next up for election on March 16. Marley has been chair of the IDP since August 2015.

Legislation championed by senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch to bring into wide use newer, more efficient energy reactors cleared the United States Senate by a voice vote.

Idaho’s growing economy, a consistent decrease in layoffs and a solvent Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund are all contributing to a 6.6% decrease in unemployment insurance tax rates for 2019.

Boise Kind is a community-wide initiative that highlights, protects and promotes the community’s core values and helps to ensure Boise remains kind and welcoming.

IMAGE Higher elevations in Idaho saw increasing snow levels in December, and road managers scrambled to clear them. (photo/Idaho Department of Transportation)
 

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