Stephen Hartgen

Stephen Hartgen

Stephen Hartgen, of Twin Falls, is a retired five-term Republican member of the Idaho House of Representatives, where he served as chairman of the Commerce and Human Resources Committee. Previously, he was editor and publisher of The Times-News (1982-2005). He can be reached at [email protected].

The Joint Finance Appropriations Committee room

With Idaho’s expected surplus, Gov. Brad Little’s budget is a solid fiscal agenda for Idaho

By: - December 30, 2021

Gov. Brad Little showed more pages of his upcoming proposed budget when he met with several hundred attendees at the annual Idaho taxpayer’s conference in Boise earlier this month. The governor, who has hinted about various items previously, took the opportunity to lay out his thinking in more detail. The state is in good shape […]

farmland covered in snow

An Idahoan’s Christmas wish to end a difficult year

By: - December 23, 2021

Is there anyone who hasn’t been impacted this year by the scourge of COVID-19, which now threatens yet another wave of highly-transmittable sickness across the land? We all know people who have fallen ill, and some of them have not survived. We know families affected in the same way, so for many, it will be […]

Downtown Boise

Nope, the economic world isn’t going to hell in a basket for Idaho

By: - October 28, 2021

Lo and behold, the Idaho economy isn’t going anywhere except up and to the bank. Whiners and complainers want you to think all we need to do is “drain the swamp” in Boise and things will be sunrise and roses. But the real numbers show Idaho is already doing fine on the economic front. Almost […]

Twin Falls Idaho airport

Twin Falls to Salt Lake City flights getting trimmed shouldn’t surprise anyone

By: - October 19, 2021

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who flies in and out of Twin Falls or other southern Idaho airports that Delta Air Lines is trimming its Salt Lake City daily flights from three flights to one for Twin Falls. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the airline industry all across the country as fewer […]

CAFE Project in the Magic Valley

Retail? Hotels? Sure. But in Idaho, economic development also supports tech-savvy ag sector.

By: - October 7, 2021

I attended an economic development Business Plus lunch recently at which a question was asked about the importance of agriculture to the Magic Valley and Southern Idaho economy. I’ll paraphrase the question as, “shouldn’t economic development do more to encourage agricultural growth in the region?” It’s a good point, but if you look around, there’s […]

Idaho State Capitol building's dome

Redistricting process may put Southern Idaho Democrats — especially in Blaine County — at risk

By: - August 30, 2021

The new census data for Idaho was released this month, and for Southern Idaho, there’s likely to be more pressure on the Democratic island of Blaine County and District 26 which could well tip to Republicans in coming elections.  The reason is in the numbers. The Wood River Valley, with its traditional Democratic representation in […]

College of Southern Idaho

CSI program expands Idaho’s pool of educators, and it’s poised for further growth

By: - July 26, 2021

It’s a fact of modern political life that naysayers get the media attention, but the real work – and often successes – goes unnoticed in the hustings of criticism. Here’s an example from Idaho’s continuing attention to school funding, teacher recruitment and retention.  When it started in 2018, the teacher training and recruitment program at […]

The Little Wood River Project

Southern Idaho agreement reflects decades of water rights work, dawn of an orderly era

By: - July 19, 2021

We’ve seen short water times before in Idaho, but this year’s extended drought has put into sharp relief the decades-long Idaho water adjudication process playing out in the Bellevue Triangle just South of Ketchum/Sun Valley/Hailey/Bellevue.  Mostly, it’s been an orderly and legally-reliant curtailment, driven by clear prior court rulings and sound legislation which has established […]