idaho legislature

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

"What time is it here?" is a question few people feel the need to ask when crossing state lines in the Pacific Northwest. But a committee vote Wednesday in the Idaho Legislature raises the possibility that border cities in the inland Northwest may observe time differently than their close neighbors as soon as next year.

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The red-blue divide on immigration is on prominent display in the Northwest Monday. The state attorneys general of Washington state and Oregon are denouncing the Trump administration for its order limiting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Meanwhile, Idaho legislators took the first step to require local police to assist the federal government on immigration enforcement.

Idaho Press Club Honors Our Regional Reporters

May 2, 2016
Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A state representative admits he's not one of the cool kids and nobody wants to sit by him on an airplane full of lawmakers.

A rancher tells of a wildfire so out of control, flames jumped and reached across a highway.

Santa and Mrs. Claus are introduced to a room full of refugees in English and Arabic.

These stories and more from our reporters were awarded six honors Saturday from the Idaho Press Club, recognizing the best Idaho journalism in 2015.

Office of the Governor - tinyurl.com/zd9eb84

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has scheduled a press conference Monday morning to give his take on the legislative session that just ended. At the top of the list of topics is whether the governor might take executive action to expand Medicaid under a provision of Obamacare.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Idaho Legislature has wrapped up for the year without doing anything to address 2016’s highest profile issue: expanding health care coverage for Idaho’s working poor.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Idaho will remain among the 19 states resisting a key provision of Obamacare. The Idaho Legislature adjourned Friday without agreement on whether to explore an expansion of the Medicaid program.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The share of Oregonians and Washingtonians without health insurance has dropped dramatically under Obamacare. The uninsured rate is now at a historic low in the West Coast states.

Idaho has missed out on that trend, largely because the state until now has refused to expand Medicaid eligibility on the federal dime. Idaho's Republican-controlled legislature was teetering Friday on whether to end its holdout.

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As the Idaho Legislature lurches to a conclusion of its 2016 session, Idaho lawmakers and some school groups are declaring schools a winner.

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Idaho has become the 25th state to authorize terminally-ill patients to request unapproved, investigational drugs and treatments. The concept -- also new in Oregon -- has come to be known as the “Right to Try.”

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Idaho cities, counties and local voters will not have the option to approve increases in the minimum wage in the absence of action at the state level. A legislative measure to block local minimum wage increases became law Tuesday.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Idaho lawmakers said amen for public school teachers to use the Bible in classrooms. The Idaho House voted 54-15 Monday to allow religious texts, including the Bible, to be used for reference purposes.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

This winter, the Idaho Legislature has considered a range of what are sometimes called "message bills," introduced to convey dissatisfaction with how federal agencies are managing public lands. But the latest proposal from one conservative lawmaker went too far even for the Republican majority in the statehouse. 

Robyn Broyles / NIFC

Idaho counties could declare federal forestland within their borders to be a "catastrophic public nuisance" under a measure approved by an Idaho legislative committee Tuesday.

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A panel of the Idaho House of Representatives voted Tuesday to add a state income tax cut to the legislative session agenda.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

It took an extra trip to Boise. But Idaho lawmakers Monday adopted new federal rules on child support after a whirlwind 11-hour session.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The controversial Idaho bill dealing with foreign child support orders is moving ahead in the legislature, despite impassioned opposition on the House floor.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Dozens of countries, including the U.S., have agreed on how to handle child support payments when one parent is in a different country. But the state of Idaho is holding out.

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The federal government and many states have offered car buyers incentives to venture into the electric car market. But now some states are going in a different direction.

Bev Sykes / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/gmvhdy9

The Idaho legislature adjourned its overtime session over the weekend.

Idaho Lawmakers Approve Gas Tax Increase, Adjourn Session

Apr 13, 2015
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Idaho’s gas tax is set to go up 7 cents per gallon under a bill now awaiting the governor’s signature.

Idaho Legislature Nears Gas Tax Deal, Adjournment

Apr 10, 2015
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Idaho’s gas tax could go up 7 cents per gallon under a proposed deal between the House and Senate.

Idaho Senate's Gas Tax Plan Is A No-Go In House

Apr 8, 2015
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The ping-pong of transportation plans between the Idaho House and Senate promises to make this a long week at the Capitol.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Idaho Governor Butch Otter has vetoed a repeal of so-called “instant horse racing” and has asked Idaho lawmakers to come up with a different strategy for dealing with the gambling machines in the state.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

On Friday afternoons, the crowd at the B gates of the Boise Airport includes a lot of familiar faces from the Idaho capitol.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The Idaho Senate is teeing up for a new round of negotiations Monday on how to fund much-needed repairs on roads and bridges.

Idaho Governor Signs Bill To Boost Teacher Pay

Apr 2, 2015
Office of the Governor

Idaho teachers could start seeing raises as soon as next fall after Governor Butch Otter signed a pay plan known as the “career ladder” into law Thursday.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

The Idaho Senate decided to kill a major overhaul to Idaho’s tax system Tuesday.

Democrats Call Idaho Tax Bill 'A Financial Circus'

Mar 30, 2015
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The Idaho House fast-tracked a bill Monday that would raise the gas tax, eliminate the sales tax on groceries and overhaul Idaho’s income tax structure.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The Idaho House is set to vote Monday on a bill that would move Idaho’s presidential primary from May to March.

Lordchadwick79 / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/zwzz8lq

Idaho lawmakers are proposing a tax system overhaul. In part, they want to make the state more competitive with Oregon and Washington.

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