Prostitution remark shocks ACLU, others
Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Coeur dAlene, drew gasps Wednesday morning when he asked representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union-Idaho whether their support of abortion rights also means that they back prostitution.
Mendive posed the question to ACLU-Idaho executive director Monica Hopkins. He then said that prostitution is a woman's choice.
Hopkins said a right to access reproductive health care is constitutionally mandated, while prostitution is illegal. She also said prostitution is not always a choice.
Mendive said he asked because he believes there is a double standard. Asked whether he stood by his words, he conceded, Maybe it was a poor illustration.
House Majority Caucus Chairman John Vander Woude, R-Meridian, certainly thought so. The example, in my opinion, was a very poor choice, he said.
The Associated Press
Senators trim back Capitol restrictions
The Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday rejected three sections of a 39-page rule that was adopted in response to the 2012 Occupy Boise protest:
A seven-day limit on protests and other events.
A ban on events between midnight and 6 a.m.
A requirement for a permit to use an amplifying device and a provision allowing police or Statehouse security to shut down a disruptive event.
Ed task force gets positive reviews
The Republican chairman of the House Education Committee and a prominent Democratic opponent of Props 1, 2 and 3 agreed on several points Tuesday.
Among them: Both are optimistic about a 31-member education task force appointed by Gov. Butch Otter. The task force held its first meeting Friday, and its assignment is to study reform this year.
House Education Chairman Reed DeMordaunt of Eagle, a task force member, said Otter has assembled a good group, but he cautioned that members must be willing to drop their personal agendas.
Former Boise legislator Brian Cronin commended Otter for calling a timeout on the volatile school reform issue.
DeMordaunt, Cronin and Boise State University professor Jennifer Snow spoke at a panel hosted by Boise State Public Radio that drew a standing-room-only audience at Salt Tears Coffeehouse and Noshery in Boise.
Hospitalizations rising in Idaho
More Idaho residents are being committed to psychiatric hospitals but the length of time they spend there is dropping, said Ross Edmunds with the states Division of Mental Health.
He told the Legislatures budget committee Wednesday that there were 473 commitments to State Hospital South in Pocatello and State Hospital North in Orofino in fiscal year 2008, compared to a projected 818 commitments for fiscal year 2013.
Mental health admissions to community hospitals has also climbed, Edmunds said, from just more than 1,000 in fiscal year 2010 to 1,230 in fiscal 2012.
The Associated Press
CAPITOL FOR A DAY
Kuna will get visit from state officers
Gov. Butch Otters monthly roadshow that brings him, other elected officials and agency chiefs to cities across Idaho will be in Kuna on Friday, Jan. 25.
For many Idahoans, Kuna is little more than a Boise suburb with a connection to caves. The reality is much more interesting, with a rich history growing out of the Treasure Valleys leadership in, and dependence on, irrigated agriculture, Otter said.