Government + Politics

Protesters supporting “Medicare for All” hold a rally outside PhRMA headquarters in 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Biden quietly transforms Medicaid’s safety net

BY: and - July 27, 2021

The Biden administration is quietly engineering a series of expansions to Medicaid that may bolster protections for millions of low-income Americans and bring more people into the program. Biden’s efforts — which have been largely overshadowed by other economic and health initiatives — represent an abrupt reversal of the Trump administration’s moves to scale back […]

Central District Health sign

Who pays for public health? Who sets pandemic rules? Idaho changed the law

BY: - July 26, 2021

Two bills passed through the Idaho Legislature in the 2021 session that changed how Idaho’s public health districts are funded, and how much authority they have. State and local governments are now taking up a big question: “What does the future of public health look like in Idaho?” said Seth Grigg, executive director of the […]

Idaho established a housing trust fund in ‘92, but it was never funded. What happened?

BY: - July 23, 2021

Headlines about housing from 1992 editions of the Idaho Statesman feel eerily familiar. Growth puts squeeze on number of available rentals in area Report says Idaho has housing woes Officials look for ways to ease growth burden Forum focuses on need for more affordable housing That year, Cecil Andrus — Idaho’s most recent Democratic governor […]

Analysis: In the absence of mandates, educators pin their hopes on vaccine messaging

BY: - July 22, 2021

Originally posted on IdahoEdNews.org on July 22, 2021 As Idaho’s coronavirus case numbers surge again, vaccination numbers continue to lag. And vaccination rates are lowest among young people — just weeks before students are due to return to schools and college campuses. This puts health officials and education leaders in a bind. They say vaccines […]

Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, holding a tree spike

Stone-Manning nomination set to advance to U.S. Senate after emotions run high at vote

BY: - July 22, 2021

In a contentious meeting that distilled a weeks-long fight, the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee deadlocked 10-10 along party lines Thursday on approving Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination as head of the Bureau of Land Management. That means an extra procedural vote will be forced before the full U.S. Senate takes up the nomination of […]

President Biden Meets With Bipartisan Group Of Senators At The White House On Infrastructure Deal

U.S. Senate Republicans block advance of bipartisan infrastructure plan, but talks continue

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats’ attempt to start debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan was blocked by Republicans on a party-line vote Wednesday, as lawmakers hustle to wrap up negotiations over drafting that legislation. In the 49-51 test vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.), switched his vote to “no,” a procedural move that allows […]

PFAS gel

U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards. The bill, H.R. 2467, also known as the PFAS Action Act of 2021, passed 241-183, with 23 […]

Rays of light shine through a burned forest

Dems unite for Civilian Climate Corps. Fulcher says forest health, management should be focus.

BY: - July 21, 2021

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged on Tuesday to include a Civilian Climate Corps in a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill later this year, as a broad swath of Democrats rallied around a framework of employing thousands of young people to do conservation work. Schumer, (D-N.Y.), appeared with a handful of congressional Democrats, led by […]

PFAS gel

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and […]

It’s official — Idaho ends budget year with record surplus of nearly $900 million

BY: - July 20, 2021

The state of Idaho closed the books on the 2021 budget year on June 30 with a record surplus of nearly $900 million on hand, Gov. Brad Little announced Tuesday. Now that June revenue numbers are finalized — and again beat state forecasts — Idaho officials know that they closed out the 2021 fiscal year with […]

Idaho Reps. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, and Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton

Rep. Priscilla Giddings to face ethics committee in August for two complaints

BY: - July 20, 2021

According to the Idaho Legislature’s House Journal, the House Ethics Committee has received two complaints against Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, alleging conduct unbecoming of a representative which is detrimental to the integrity of the House as a legislative body. The journal states the committee conducted a preliminary investigation and found probable cause exists that […]

More than $150 million still available to Idahoans for COVID rental assistance

BY: - July 20, 2021

Of the $175 million in emergency rental assistance funds available to the Idaho Housing and Finance Association through federal coronavirus relief funding allocated in March, a little over 5% — or $9 million — has been distributed to Idahoans outside of Ada County so far. The program is meant to help individuals who need help […]