UI president asks alumni, business leaders to counter attacks on higher ed

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports University of Idaho president C. Scott Green is asking alumni and business leaders to support higher education after the Idaho House of Representatives defeated the higher education budget last Wednesday. The defeat came partially at the bill sponsor’s request; Rep. Paul Amador asked the House to vote no on hisContinue reading “UI president asks alumni, business leaders to counter attacks on higher ed”

Why overturning a veto is a tough hurdle — even for popular legislation

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports On Thursday, the Senate voted 21-14 to overturn Gov. Brad Little’s first veto of the 2021 session, falling short of the two-thirds majority required from both the House and Senate.  The House voted 62-7 on its override attempt earlier this week, easily surpassing the two-thirds threshold but losing some votesContinue reading “Why overturning a veto is a tough hurdle — even for popular legislation”

House State Affairs rejects international Powerball agreement

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports The House State Affairs Committee rejected a bill that would allow the Idaho Lottery to continue participating in Powerball, potentially affecting millions in funds from Powerball ticket sales that go to schools and the permanent building fund.  The Multi-State Lottery Association has approved licensing Powerball in Australia and the UnitedContinue reading “House State Affairs rejects international Powerball agreement”

A history of Idaho’s deconsolidation debate

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports This week, a trio of bills relating to deconsolidation of the Idaho Attorney General’s office has taken center stage at the legislature. On Wednesday, the Senate Resource and Environment Committee rejected a bill that would force the Department of Lands to hire outside counsel. (A similar bill passed the HouseContinue reading “A history of Idaho’s deconsolidation debate”

Gov. Little, lawmakers react to Simpson’s dam breaching proposal

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Since Congressman Mike Simpson unveiled his dam breaching proposal in early February, a handful of Idaho lawmakers have sent their reactions in newsletters to constituents. All of the reactions Idaho Reports has seen so far have been negative. On Thursday, Gov. Brad Little weighed in as well, saying that whileContinue reading “Gov. Little, lawmakers react to Simpson’s dam breaching proposal”

Who is getting vaccinated? Census data offers some clues.

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho counties with the highest rates of COVID-19 vaccination so far are some of Idaho’s wealthiest, while the counties with the lowest rates have significant Hispanic populations, according to data released Tuesday by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. But it’s hard to tell exactly who in those countiesContinue reading “Who is getting vaccinated? Census data offers some clues.”

Why doesn’t Idaho collect demographic on vaccine recipients? It’s “challenging,” but not illegal.

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports After telling Idaho Reports and the Idaho Statesman that the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is legally barred from collecting race and ethnicity data from vaccine recipients, IDHW director Dave Jeppesen told the legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Monday that isn’t the case. Last week, Idaho Reports and theContinue reading “Why doesn’t Idaho collect demographic on vaccine recipients? It’s “challenging,” but not illegal.”

Does Idaho have a racial disparity problem with vaccinations? We don’t know.

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports This week, CNN analyzed vaccination data from 14 states, finding white people in the United States are getting inoculated against COVID-19 at twice the rate of black and Hispanic people. But in Idaho, the state doesn’t know if there are racial disparities in vaccine distribution. It doesn’t collect that data.Continue reading “Does Idaho have a racial disparity problem with vaccinations? We don’t know.”

Former House Speakers: Legislature endangering Idahoans

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports On Wednesday, former Speakers of the House Bruce Newcomb and Congressman Mike Simpson released a joint statement condemning the Idaho Legislature’s recent attempts to curb the Idaho governor’s ability to declare emergencies and issue public health orders. The opinion piece was the latest in the public fight over COVID-19 mitigationContinue reading “Former House Speakers: Legislature endangering Idahoans”

Idaho’s vaccine shipment far short of what federal government promised

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho health officials started out the week with high hopes for ramping up the state’s vaccine roll-out. By Friday, the state has received fewer than half the doses it was promised for the week. Elke Shaw-Tulloch, Administrator of Public Health for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, said duringContinue reading “Idaho’s vaccine shipment far short of what federal government promised”