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Local news 2/8/24

A divided Idaho House of Representatives voted 38-31 to pass the first of 10 omnibus budget bills that are at the center of a budget showdown in the Idaho Legislature. The vote to pass the fiscal year 2025 budget for the judicial branch appears to represent a narrow political victory for Republican House Speaker Mike Moyle.

The lawyers for Thomas Creech, Idaho's longest-serving death row inmate, have filed a federal complaint against State of Idaho prosecutors, and are asking the state to pause his upcoming execution.  According to the Federal Defender Services of Idaho state prosecutors violated his constitutional rights.  They are also asking for a new commutation hearing, saying the tie vote shows the commission was clearly torn.

The Hollister School could become a charter school.  Currently the elementary school is part of the Filer District.  Currently the discussion is in the beginning stages and organizers are looking for community feedback.

A bill determining the future of pesticide-related lawsuits is headed to the Idaho Senate floor.  The bill would add language to existing Idaho laws to protect agricultural pesticide products our farmers and ranchers depend on. 

Gray wolves in Idaho will not be relisted under the Endangered Species Act despite conservationist concerns.  The decision concluded more than two years of analysis in response to multiple petitions regarding the animals' status in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and parts of Oregon, Washington and Utah.  Environmentalists say stand by for the lawsuits.

Most Idaho state employees could soon be required to return to the office under a new bill making its way through the Statehouse.  The bill would require state offices to allow a maximum of 15% of its staff to work remotely on any given day.

Idahoans elected to state or federal offices including the Idaho Legislature would not be allowed to simultaneously serve in elected local positions under a new bill state lawmakers introduced yesterday.  The proposed law would take effect Jan. 1, 2025 if passed.

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