Workers’ comp has paid more than $2 million connected to COVID

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Legislature considered amending the workers’ compensation law in Idaho to include vaccine injuries, but the state has already paid out more than $2 million for COVID-19 illnesses and vaccine injuries. Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, pitched HB 417, which would require businesses that mandate their employees to be vaccinatedContinue reading “Workers’ comp has paid more than $2 million connected to COVID”

Chairman Wood confirms no Health and Welfare hearing this session

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports While the House Business Committee heard hours of testimony on vaccine and testing mandates, House Health and Welfare Committee chairman Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, spent Monday afternoon in his office, reading nine bills that House Speaker Scott Bedke had assigned to his committee.  “And I’ll not answer any further questionsContinue reading “Chairman Wood confirms no Health and Welfare hearing this session”

Southwest Idaho infant dies of COVID-19

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has confirmed the state’s first pediatric death due to COVID-19.  The child was an infant younger than 1 year old who lived in southwest Idaho and died in October. The department said it will release no other details about the child to protect theContinue reading “Southwest Idaho infant dies of COVID-19”

SWITC again sees demand for more staff amid Medicaid compliance issues

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, a state-run facility with a troubled past, is again seeing a shortage of staff available to help clients, an issue that could jeopardize its licensing and ability to accept federal funding. The Nampa facility, commonly called SWITC, is a temporary home to intellectually disabled andContinue reading “SWITC again sees demand for more staff amid Medicaid compliance issues”

IDOC replaces prison health care provider

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports As coronavirus continues to rage across Idaho’s unvaccinated population, the Idaho Department of Correction has changed health care providers. IDOC is responsible for the health care of roughly 8,000 people in the department’s custody. For more than 10 years, the department contracted with Corizon Health. Corizon was established in 2011,Continue reading “IDOC replaces prison health care provider”

Legal fees over ballot initiative bill will cost taxpayers over $150,000

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports After a citizen’s advocacy group prevailed at the Idaho Supreme Court this year, Idaho taxpayers will pick up the tab for legal fees. The Constitutional Defense Council met Monday to discuss approving funding for the legal expenses accrued after they lost a lawsuit revolving around a ballot initiative bill thatContinue reading “Legal fees over ballot initiative bill will cost taxpayers over $150,000”

Idaho’s spent just 1% of federal ARPA relief funds

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports During the second day of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee’s interim meeting Wednesday, legislators listened to a breakdown of how much federal money the state has spent, and what’s still in the bank.  Alex Adams, of the Division of Financial Management, provided an update on the use of the American RescueContinue reading “Idaho’s spent just 1% of federal ARPA relief funds”

Idaho prisons continue to combat COVID infections among staff, residents

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Department of Correction houses more than 8,000 people in custody and the latest updates show coronavirus infection numbers are again increasing.  In a COVID update posted Thursday, IDOC deputy director Bree Derrick wrote about how the Delta variant has changed the game. “First and foremost, please remain vigilantContinue reading “Idaho prisons continue to combat COVID infections among staff, residents”

IDHW releases vaccination data by zip code

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Since vaccines became widely available in Idaho, the Idaho Department of Health has updated vaccine uptake data by county every weekday. That data shows high vaccination rates in some counties, like Blaine, where nearly 90 percent of the eligible population has had at least one dose. Other counties, like IdahoContinue reading “IDHW releases vaccination data by zip code”

Analysis: Are ethics complaint responses subject to public disclosure?

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports  Last week, the House Ethics Committee held a contentious hearing on two complaints against Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird. The representative gave testimony defending her actions and asserting her right to free speech, though she spent just as much time — if not more — accusing the committee itself ofContinue reading “Analysis: Are ethics complaint responses subject to public disclosure?”