Arguments over commutation legality go before Idaho judge

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Idaho District Judge Jay Gaskill heard arguments from Gerald Pizzuto Jr.’s attorney on Thursday, asking the judge to stop the state from executing his client. Pizzuto, 65, has been on death row for more than 35 years and last month the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole recommended his sentenceContinue reading “Arguments over commutation legality go before Idaho judge”

Idaho Department of Correction hopes to build new women’s prison

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports  For the first time in more than a decade, with the support of the governor, the Idaho Department of Correction is asking lawmakers for funding to build a new prison. On Tuesday, IDOC Director Josh Tewalt pitched his $333 million budget request to the Joint Finance Appropriation Committee, outlining someContinue reading “Idaho Department of Correction hopes to build new women’s prison”

Bill introduced to prohibit local government from capping rental fees

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports  The House Business Committee on Monday introduced a bill further limiting local government’s ability to control fees and deposits on rental units. The bill, introduced by Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, amends Idaho Code to include fees and deposits. Under current law, the code prohibits local governments from “controlling the amountContinue reading “Bill introduced to prohibit local government from capping rental fees”

Employee compensation committee reviews staffing woes, wage changes

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Change in Employee Compensation Committee met Wednesday to review the governor’s proposed changes to employee compensation, outlining needed staffing. Gov. Brad Little’s proposal includes a 2% salary adjustment for state employees and a 3% merit increase for employees. Little also recommended maintaining the current benefits package.  The state ofContinue reading “Employee compensation committee reviews staffing woes, wage changes”

Governor denies Commission-recommended mercy for man on death row

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole voted 4-3 to recommend commutation and grant a plea for mercy from Gerald Pizzuto Jr., who’s been on death row for more than 35 years.  However, Gov. Brad Little denied the commission’s recommendation, calling Pizzuto’s 1985 crimes brutal and senseless. The commission heldContinue reading “Governor denies Commission-recommended mercy for man on death row”

Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports It took five years, but the Idaho State Police Forensic Services lab has tested the last previously untested sexual assault kit in Idaho. The final test came after 2016 legislation, pitched by Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, identified a backlog of not just untested sexual assault kits, but kits that hadn’tContinue reading “Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years”

Northern Idaho deactivates crisis care standards due to COVID-19

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports  The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare deactivated Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) in the Panhandle Health District on Monday, leaving the entire state out of the crisis care standard. The other six health districts deactivated crisis care standards on Nov. 22. Crisis care standards are used when there areContinue reading “Northern Idaho deactivates crisis care standards due to COVID-19”

One in four Idaho COVID deaths seen in long-term care facilities

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s weekly coronavirus press conference marked a dark milestone Tuesday for long-term care facilities.  IDHW Director Dave Jeppesen said the state has now seen 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities. That means at least one out of every four COVID deaths in IdahoContinue reading “One in four Idaho COVID deaths seen in long-term care facilities”

New chief judge appointed to the Idaho Court of Appeals

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan appointed a new chief judge Wednesday for the Idaho Court of Appeals. Judge Jessica M. Lorello will take over as chief judge on Jan. 1, replacing former Chief Judge Molly J. Huskey, who remains on the court.  The Court of Appeals consistsContinue reading “New chief judge appointed to the Idaho Court of Appeals”

Ethics committee weighs changes to hearing policy, transparency

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Committee on Ethics and House Policy met this week to review the House rule which led to the public hearings of two legislators accused of conduct unbecoming of a legislator.  In 2021, the committee received complaints about former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger and Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-Whitebird. Both wereContinue reading “Ethics committee weighs changes to hearing policy, transparency”