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As state-based public pensions throughout the country face record funding gaps, the Public Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI) is doing comparatively well, with officials reporting a 90.2 percent funded level in 2011, up significantly from the 79 percent level it faced after the financial collapse in 2008. Still, some experts insist that public-sector accounting practices set by the Governmental Accounting…

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 Monday that states may not limit political campaign donations by corporations or unions. The court decided that it would not hear a challenge to its 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission campaign finance ruling that had been mounted by Montana's attorney general, Steve Bullock, in cooperation with counterparts in 21 other states and…

During the first few years of the 21st century, real estate prices soared. Economic growth boomed, and developers eyed McCall and the surrounding Valley County for investment. "People say McCall has everything," former McCall mayor and city councillor Bert Kulesza was quoted as saying during the months leading up to his election. "People want to come here, developers want to…

Idaho's regulatory climate could be significantly improved through the addition of an automatic sunset provision that would rescind regulations unless specifically reauthorized through periodic legislative review, according to a study released by the Mercatus Center, a policy research group centered at George Mason University. "Our results seem to suggest that these provisions, that force regulations to be reconsidered and prove…

elinor_ostrom

Nobel laureate economist Elinor Ostrom died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer in Bloomington, Ind. Although she based her career at Indiana University, the groundbreaking insights that led to her becoming the only female Nobel economist in history have wide applicability to Idaho's natural resources. Ostrom began her career working in public choice economics. Many mainstream economists analyze how and why markets…

Idaho's spiraling Medicaid costs can be attributed to structural program changes following the 2006 Idaho Medicaid Simplification Act, along with substantial increases in enrollment, according to a recent study from the Mercatus Center, a policy research group centered at George Mason University. In March, both the House and Senate approved a 5.7 percent increase to the Medicaid budget for 2013,…

A new political committee called YES! For Idaho Education filed paperwork Wednesday with the secretary of state's office in order to begin a campaign to defend the Students Come First education reform laws that took effect in April 2011. The laws, championed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, generated substantial controversy and a…