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Idaho “Ultrasound” Bill Dead For The Session

State representatives say they won't pursue Idaho' s controversial ultrasound-abortion bill that has been making national headlines recently.  At least this year.  The bill would require doctors to administer an ultrasound to the fetus of any woman who chooses an abortion in Idaho.

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Idaho Capitol Building - Flickr - Kevin Rank
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Idaho Legislators Grapple Over Extra Money

The legislative session is just about to wrap up but lawmakers are grappling with an issue they haven’t dealt with in a few years, a budget surplus and how to disperse surplus state money. Republican Senator Dean Cameron, the Chairman of the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee says at the end of the session the state will have about $77 million dollars that they need to decide what to do with.

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Idaho Legislature Could Wrap Up This Week

The Idaho Legislature is entering enters its final push in 2012, but the Senate and House still have big-ticket bills to reconcile before heading home, including legislation on tax cuts and teacher salaries.  Several controversial measures may end up on the cutting room floor in lieu of higher priority legislation.

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Idaho Legislature Works Toward Adjournment

With "sine die," the end of the Idaho legislative session possibly coming as quickly as early next week, there is a flurry of activity at the Statehouse as numerous bills are making their way to the governor's desk or the dustbin.  Boise Rep. Julie Ellsworth said she worked all session to convince enough of her colleagues to pass a texting while driving ban.  After years of similar legislation failing, this year the ban is headed to the Senate for approval of amendments. 

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Idaho House Pulls Ultrasound Bill From Agenda…For Now

For several days the conversation at the State Capitol has been ongoing… should a woman be required to get an ultrasound before an abortion?  Wednesday, movement on that bill was halted when Rep. Tom Loertscher, the Chairman of the House State Affairs Committee canceled a hearing set for today.  The bill cleared the senate Monday but before it could land in the house, Chairman Loertscher pulled it from the agenda saying there’s been a lot of misinformation about the bill.

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No Higher Cig Taxes This Session

(AP)  A House panel rejected a bid to raise Idaho's cigarette tax by $1.25 per pack, with Republicans  calling it social engineering. The Revenue and Taxation Committee's vote Monday was 11-5, easily defeating the bill sponsored by groups including the American Lung Association. Reps. Lenore Barrett and Vito Barbieri said cajoling people to quit by boosting a legal product's cost wasn't acceptable.

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Many Idaho Women Not Happy With Legislature Right Now

(AP) - Nearly 250 people descended on the Idaho Capitol to protest a bill requiring women to get an ultrasound of their fetus before they can get an abortion. Gathered on the Capitol steps Thursday, the crowd waved signs and hammered Sen. Chuck Winder's proposed legislation, calling it a political tactic to shame and bully women already burdened with a difficult health decision.

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Rep. Sharon Block Says She’s Not Running Again

State Representative Sharon Block says she will not seek another term in the Idaho House of Representatives.  The Times News reports today that Block says she has no post-retirement plans but she does want to stay involved i

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Education Reform
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Idaho Legislature May Creat Ethics Commission

One of the main issues being considered this legislative session by Idaho lawmakers is the creation an independent ethics commission. Legislators on both sides of the Statehouse aisle are talking about joining 41 other states in the Union and creating an independent ethics commission for legislators.

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Top Story Instapoll 10/5/11:Idaho Legislators Who Accept Reimbursements For Expenses They Don’t Have

Some members of the Idaho Legislature, specifically those who live a few miles from the capitol building, are getting a "per diem" for maintaining a second residence.  Yet some of them are staying in their own offices or with the case of Senator John McGee, staying with parents, and they have no outflow of cash

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