Tag Archives John McGee

The seven Democrats in the Idaho Senate say the almost-complete legislative session is the worst in memory and say the Republicans have shifted to the extreme far right. The spokesman for Senate Republicans say that voters support the majority party, and that Democrats have offered bad budget advice for several years. Democrats held a press conference Wednesday to reiterate their…

The Idaho Senate approved an amended version of an income tax credit backed by Gov. Butch Otter that would give employers a portion of the salaries they pay to new workers hired in the next three years. The legislation passed on a 30-5 vote, with one lawmaker questioning whether the government can spur job creation. “I think this is the…

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, will agree to the changes the Senate made on his legislation that makes it more difficult for citizens to challenge megaload permits, though he said the amendments eat away at the restrictions he was trying to create. “I feel like I sent them a bear and they sent me back a carcass, but I will…

Idaho Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, wants state lawmakers and road builders to consider using untapped bonding authority to fix aging bridges across the state. McGee introduced the idea in a Senate committee Monday, though lawmakers won't take up the issue until next year. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is planning to finish six projects in the Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle…

The Idaho House and Senate both approved a $7.8 million increase in state taxpayer funding for the state's prison system, a 5.4 percent increase. The total budget for the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) would be $175.6 million for the next fiscal year. Also on Tuesday, the Senate also approved legislation expanding the state's special gang enforcement law that can…

Lawmakers in the Idaho Capitol are one step closer to heading home after the Senate passed a bill that would reduce state Medicaid spending by $34.6 million in fiscal year 2012. The legislation passed the Senate 27-8.  Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, was the only Republican to join with all seven Senate Democrats in voting against the bill. The measure, formally…

Idaho lawmakers will make changes to legislation that would make it more difficult for people to sue the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to stop the state from permitting an oversized loads on state roads. The effort comes after lawsuits and hearings surrounding the shipment of megaloads of oil equipment across Highway 12 in north central Idaho. “This bill begs an…

Legislation that prevents private organizations from getting specialty license plates faces a full Senate vote after being approved by the Senate Transportation Committee. The plan wouldn't apply to current plates, and would only allow for new plates that benefit a state or local government agency. “The real point here, from my perspective at least, is picking and choosing the winners…

Idaho lawmakers are considering a plan to block any new specialized vehicle license plates that would make payments to non-profit organizations. Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d'Alene, said he'd like to limit the proliferation of new license plates and that Idaho shouldn't be in the business of raising money for private causes. He said limiting license plates that…

Idaho lawmakers approved legislation that could encourage doctors to tell state officials when their patients shouldn't be on the road. The law, backed by the Idaho Medical Association which represents doctors, would shield doctors from retribution, including potential lawsuits or discipline from a professional board, if they tell the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to suspend someone's license. The Idaho Senate…