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Idaho Reports

Idaho Public Television

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The longest-running public policy show in the West, Idaho Reports turns a spotlight on the statehouse during the legislative session. Dedicated to political analysis and in-depth reporting from around the state. Subscribe for regular episodes and bonus content on the important issues affecting all Idahoans. © Idaho Public Television | Idaho State Board of Education, an agency of the State of Idaho
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This week, Dr. Marlene Tromp from Boise State University discusses the future of higher education in Idaho amid discourse about student loan debt and workforce readiness. Plus, McKay Cunningham from the College of Idaho discusses arguments coming up before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding whether the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act…
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Next week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or EMTALA, conflicts with Idaho's state law that bans all abortion except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape and incest. Constitutional law professor McKay Cunningham from the College of Idaho joined Me…
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Lawmakers gaveled out for the year, but Medicaid uncertainty may bring a special session. This week, Logan Finney sits down with Reps. Ned Burns and Brent Crane to discuss the library bill that became law. Kevin Richert gives us a run-down of education highlights. Finally, Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder discusses the end of the session, incl…
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Legislative committees in Idaho often meet less than twelve hours after an agenda is posted. They also leave the details about how to accept public testimony up to each individual chairman. Jason Mercier, vice president and director of research at Mountain States Policy Center, joined associate producer Logan Finney to discuss some possible transpa…
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Lawmakers set the final state budgets this week – or did they? The showdown over the transportation budget is finally ended, and long-anticipated bills await the governor’s signature or veto. Melissa Davlin sits down with lawmakers investigating a possible budget shortfall at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Then, Dr. Jaclyn Kettler from …
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Like many election years, there have been a lot of social issues up for debate in the 2024 legislative session. However, lawmakers seem increasingly ready to pass legislation that they know will end up being decided somewhere down the line in court. Associate producer Logan Finney sat down this week with ACLU of Idaho legislative strategist Amy Dun…
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This week, Dr. Jim Souza, Dr. Megan Kasper, and Idaho Medical Association CEO Susie Keller talk about the effects of Idaho’s abortion ban on physician recruitment and patient care after the Senate and House Health and Welfare Committees canceled a hearing on the topic. Then, Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News and James Dawson of Boise State Publ…
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The Idaho Transportation Department headquarters used to be situated on a 44-acre property at the edge of downtown Boise. The state has been working for several years to sell the land. Associate producer Logan Finney sits down with BoiseDev senior reporter Margaret Carmel to dig into the history of the site and the possible consequences of lawmaker…
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As we’re nearing the end of the legislative session, contentious debates are filling the days. How might these floor votes affect the upcoming legislative primary season? This week, former Gov. Butch Otter, Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News, and Dr. Stephanie Witt of Boise State University join the pundits to discuss the late-session legislativ…
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Senate Minority Leader Melissa Wintrow joins associate producer Logan Finney to discuss a bill she has been working for years to pass, SB 1234, which increases the amount of contraceptives that Idaho women can pick up in a single pharmacy visit to six months. Gov. Brad Little signed the bill and it takes effect on July 1, 2024.…
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Lawmakers have debated for several years over adjustments to how the state should fill judicial vacancies when judges retire. A bill introduced in the House this week on judicial retirements is also tied to pay raises for judges. Producer Ruth Brown spoke with Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan on Thursday about his concerns with th…
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It’s no secret that Idaho Republicans have been fighting amongst themselves for years. This week, Rep. Stephanie Mickelsen discusses her recent censure from her legislative district central committee, and Idaho Republican Party chairwoman Dorothy Moon gives her take on the presidential caucus, recent election bills and divisions within the party. P…
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Senate Assistant Majority Leader Abby Lee joins producer Ruth Brown to discuss issues with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s foster care system, efforts over her legislative career to address them, and a pair of bills she's co-sponsoring this year to limit temporary placement of foster kids and to create an independent ombudsman office.R…
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The Idaho Republican Party Presidential Caucus drew just 7 percent of registered Republicans to the polls last Saturday, but didn’t draw any presidential candidates to Idaho to campaign. Where does the party go next? Reps. Dustin Manwaring and Lauren Necochea join Dr. Jaclyn Kettler of Boise State University to discuss the presidential caucus and w…
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Idaho’s judicial branch this year is requesting general funds for its IT staff and services, and to complete the court’s transition to a cloud-based technology system. For the last ten years, the state has largely funded court technology by imposing fees on the people who use the justice system. Associate producer Logan Finney spoke to Lisa Foster …
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Former President Donald Trump easily won the Idaho Republican presidential caucus over the weekend and will receive all of Idaho’s 32 delegates to the Republican presidential nominating convention. Associate producer Logan Finney sat down Monday with political scientist Josh Putnam to go over the results, what they mean for the rest of the contest …
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The revenue that the Idaho Supreme Court generates from court fees has been in decline over the past several years. But at the same time, the costs to run its technology systems have increased. Sara Omundson, administrative director of courts, sat down with Logan Finney on Thursday to discuss the cybersecurity threats facing the state court system,…
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On Wednesday, the Idaho Department of Correction called off the execution of Thomas Creech, after nearly an hour of attempting to establish an IV line to administer the necessary lethal injection chemicals. Lead producer and host Melissa Davlin spoke the next day with media witnesses Scott McIntosh of the Idaho Statesman and Roland Beres of KIVI Ch…
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The Idaho Department of Correction halted the execution of Thomas Creech after failing to set an IV line. Witnesses Scott McIntosh of the Idaho Statesman and Roland Beres of KIVI share what they saw. Administrative director of courts Sara Omundson discusses cybersecurity funding. Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News brings us the latest reactions …
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On Wednesday, the Idaho Department of Correction called off the execution of Thomas Creech, after nearly an hour of attempting to establish an IV line to administer the necessary lethal injection chemicals. According to IDOC director Josh Tewalt, the medical team tried to set up an IV line in eight different locations on Creech’s body, including hi…
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Associate producer Logan Finney sat down this week with Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield to discuss the status of the education budget, as well as policy bills on libraries and bullying.Idaho Public Television
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This week, McKay Cunningham from the College of Idaho discusses potential issues with an effort to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Then, Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News, Dr. Stephanie Witt of Boise State University, and former Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones join the pundits to review the week th…
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Beginning last legislative session, Idaho began a massive undertaking to shift from its unconstitutional county-based public defense system to a state-based system. Idaho Association of Counties executive director Seth Grigg sat down with Ruth Brown this week to discuss the final details being ironed out as the October 1 changeover date approaches,…
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After last week’s House leadership shake-up, Republicans have chosen a new majority leader. How much might that impact pending legislation that hits the floor? This week, Rep. Jason Monks discusses his role as the newly elected House Majority Leader, as well as complex school facility legislation he is co-sponsoring. Then, Kevin Richert of Idaho Ed…
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House Bill 494 would rewrite Idaho's human trafficking laws to make them more victim-centered and hopefully give law enforcement more tools to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases that they find in relation to other crimes. Bill sponsor Rep. Jaron Crane, R-Nampa, joined producer Ruth Brown this week to discuss the legislation and who is supp…
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This week, Rep. Megan Blanksma joins us to discuss a historic vote to remove her as House Majority Leader, and what she thinks led up to it. Then, House Appropriations chair Rep. Wendy Horman gives some insights into the behind-the-scenes budget fights that became public over the last few days, and Minority Leader Ilana Rubel shares her thoughts on…
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The legislature’s budget committee made some big changes to how they appropriate your taxpayer dollars, but on Friday, they reconsidered some budgets that had already passed. Producer Ruth Brown discusses an update on a pending execution and new death penalty legislation, and Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News gives us an update on the open meet…
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Idaho Secretary of State Phil McGrane joins associate producer Logan Finney this week to discuss legal action headed before the U.S. Supreme Court over whether former President Donald Trump is eligible to appear on the ballot in 2024. They also discuss McGrane's priorities for the new legislative session, and a letter he and Attorney General Raúl L…
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It's the third week of the session, and lawmakers are already addressing big concerns like fentanyl trafficking and guns on campus. Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News gives us an update on the open meeting lawsuit over the University of Idaho’s acquisition of the University of Phoenix. Then, Senate Majority Leader Kelly Anthon discusses changes …
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Idaho lawmakers are once again pushing to add fentanyl to the state's list of illegal substances that carry mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug trafficking. The same committee that blocked the bill last year advanced the bill to the House after three hours of testimony on Friday and another two hours of deliberation on Tuesday. Associate pr…
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No matter where you are in Idaho, you likely got hit by winter storms this week. But how did that affect the snowpack? Water Supply Committee chair David Hoekema discusses the statewide outlook. Then, Dr. Matthew May and Lantz McGinnis-Brown from Boise State University review results of this year’s public policy survey, and Kevin Richert of Idaho E…
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Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan addressed lawmakers this week, speaking to the judicial branch's relationship to the legislature and the rule of law. He also highlighted the court system's budget needs for the year, including improved technology support and judicial salaries. Bevan's full comments are available here: https://www.…
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While touting his own proposals this week, Gov. Little had some harsh words for the federal government and its $34 trillion dollar debt. Concerns about spending in Washington aren’t new. Former US Sen. Larry Craig has been promoting a balanced budget amendment since the Reagan administration. And on Thursday, Mick Mulvaney came to Boise to meet wit…
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There’s already plenty to talk about – including a push for a federal balanced budget. This week, we get reactions to Gov. Brad Little’s state of the state and proposed budget. Mick Mulvaney, former chief of staff to President Donald Trump, and former US Sen. Larry Craig discuss a proposed federal constitutional amendment that would require Congres…
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Gov. Brad Little delivered his 2024 State of the State Address on Jan. 8, the first day of the legislative session. The speech focused on budget priorities for the upcoming session, including fully funding Idaho Launch and an ambitious proposal to help fund local school buildings.Idaho Public Television
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Kevin Richert from Idaho Education News, political science professor Stephanie Witt from Boise State University, and administrator Alex Adams from the Division of Financial Management provide commentary after Gov. Brad Little's 2024 State of the State address.Idaho Public Television
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Associate producer Logan Finney examines the implications of not fully funding jail facilities. Caribou County Sheriff Adam Mabey, Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries, Payette County Sheriff Andy Creech, and jail inspector Ben Wolfinger from the Idaho Sheriffs Association discuss the state of Idaho's aging county jails, how being a recreation dest…
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The session is just around the corner, and the press got a sneak peek at the priorities. This week, Gov. Brad Little and lawmakers give us a preview of the upcoming legislative session. Associate producer Logan Finney discusses issues with jail facilities across the state with members of the Idaho Sheriffs Association. Finally, House Majority Leade…
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Association of Idaho Cities executive director Kelley Packer joins Ruth Brown to discuss the upcoming 2024 legislative session, as well as some of the bills in the works relating to property tax budgets, city annexation, and water rights.Idaho Public Television
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Three Republican women - former state Rep. Kelley Packer, former state Rep. and Senate candidate Laurie Lickley, and former Senate candidate Tara Malek - in December founded the Idaho Contraceptive Education Network. The group's goal is to educate Idahoans about contraception and how it is different from abortion.…
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In the lead-up to the 2022 election, Raul Labrador campaigned on the promise that he would be more aggressive in defending state sovereignty. After nearly a year in office, we checked in with him about his challenges to state agencies, ongoing abortion litigation, and his approach to his job as Idaho’s chief legal officer.…
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It’s been nearly a year since Idaho’s new constitutional officers were sworn in, including Attorney General Raúl Labrador, the state’s first new attorney general in more than two decades. We visited Labrador at his capitol office this week to discuss his first year as Idaho's chief legal officer, his outlook on the job, and the high-profile cases h…
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Idaho is unique in many ways, but it unfortunately stands out in one policy area. It's the only state that still uses its prison system to house certain mental health patients — those whose condition a court has deemed "dangerously mentally ill" — even though they have committed no crime. ProPublica reporter Audrey Dutton joins Logan Finney this we…
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A new report outlines a rise in infant and maternal mortality. What can be done to help? This week, Ivy Smith from Idaho Voices For Children discusses Idaho’s rising infant and maternal mortality rates, as well as policy recommendations to address that trend. Then, Jason Mercier of the Mountain States Policy Center explains his organization’s propo…
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The Snake River has been in the news a lot recently, but the recent detection of quagga mussels is not the only ecological issue facing the mighty river. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey released a study this week that takes a look at how the habitat conditions behind dams affect the level of mercury found in smallmouth bass. Research eco…
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The Greater Idaho movement would shift the Idaho-Oregon border to the west and merge conservative eastern Oregon with the Gem State. It’s a long shot — but what’s at the root of the proposal? This week, we explore the origins of the rural-urban divide. Then, Stephanie Witt and Jaclyn Kettler of Boise State University discuss how growing American po…
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The next legislative session in January 2024 is just over a month away – and policymakers are already hard at work, pitching bills and taking stock of this year's historic property tax relief package. This week, associate producer Logan Finney brings you to the annual Associated Taxpayers of Idaho conference in downtown Boise.…
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There are two major factors that determine the cost of living: How much things cost, and how much people earn. This week, associate producer Logan Finney explores how the state’s Workforce Housing Fund contributes to solving the affordable housing puzzle. Then, president Gordon Jones from the College of Western Idaho discusses a new four-year degre…
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Communities all over the state are grappling with housing affordability, but the sheer variety of programs that are available to support it can be overwhelming. Marketing and communications director Jason Lantz from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association sits down with associate producer Logan Finney this week to discuss how IHFA supports afford…
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