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Idaho Weekly Briefing – January 21

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for January 20. Would you like to know more? Send us a note at

Congressional action is well underway, with Idaho’s congressional delegation active in proposing several measures. The Idaho Legislature has begun to amass a significant list of introduced pieces of legislation.

From a just-released report by the Idaho Office of Performance Evaluations: “The operational model of the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center (SWITC) is no longer tenable. The center lacks enough clients for economies of scale to support the variety of expertise needed. In addition, its institutional setting prevents the center from replicating community living for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Often these vulnerable individuals have co-occurring mental illnesses, complex medical and behavioral issues, and history of violence or involvement with criminal justice system.”

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.6% in December – the 16th consecutive month the rate has been at or below 3%.

State regulators have accepted Avista Utilities’ 2018 natural gas Integrated Resource Plan, a 185-page document that outlines the company’s plans for meeting customer demand over the next 20 years.

Renewing their push to protect U.S. energy infrastructure from potential cyberattacks, Senators Jim Risch and Angus King (I-Maine), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Energy and Natural Resources Committee, reintroduced the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act.

For the last 20 years, Idaho State University fish ecologists Ernest Keeley and Janet Loxterman in the Department of Biological Sciences have studied Cutthroat Trout populations in waters from Alaska to New Mexico. They identified some of the last remaining native, genetically pure populations of Cutthroat Trout around Pocatello, including distinct subspecies variations, in some unlikely places.

The city of Pocatello Engineering Department is inviting residents to talk about the potential impacts of flooding in the Gate City and provide feedback on proposed revisions to the community flood map.

IMAGE Wintertime is an exceptional time of year to be in the great outdoors. From snow covered mountains and valleys to the intermittent snow-packed sagebrush of the high desert steppe, there is always something to be offered out there, for even the most timid of recreationalists. This is also the time of year when our wildlife is the most vulnerable to the elements. By now most wildlife have reached their wintering grounds where they will spend the next few months waiting for Mother Nature to bring warmer temperatures and green grass back to their world. (photo/Department of Fish & Game)

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