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Idaho lawmakers told global warming has helped state

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An attorney with an Illinois-based group that dismisses human-caused climate change told Idaho lawmakers that the warming that has occurred has benefited the state and increased crop production. The Heartland Institute's James Taylor spoke to a House committee Thursday. Two Republicans called Taylor's information useful. Democratic House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel asked Taylor if he had worked with Idaho scientists who warned that global warming would have extensive and costly ramifications. Taylor said he had not. More than 90% of the peer-reviewed studies and scientists who write them say climate change is a human-caused problem, and the mainstream scientific community almost entirely agrees that burning coal, oil and gas is causing dangerous warming.


Idaho wolf population is estimated at 1,000 animals

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says there are an estimated 1,000 wolves in Idaho. Ed Schriever told the House Resources and Conservation Committee that the number he released Thursday is the first wolf population estimate in Idaho since 2015. Shriever says his agency plans to produce a wolf population estimate every year to know whether the population is increasing or decreasing. After the meeting, Schriever said the estimate is based on millions of photos from nearly 700 remote cameras combined with known wolf mortality numbers from hunting and trapping.


Idaho wineries want to store extra wine in the state

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's wine industry wouldn't have to store extra wine in neighboring states under proposed legislation. The House State Affairs Committee voted Thursday to send to the full House the measure the state's wine industry says would save it tens of thousands of dollars. Idaho has some 60 wineries. But Idaho law doesn't allow extra wine they produce they don't have room for to be stored in Idaho. The legislation would allow the use of third-party bonded warehouses that could store the wine. Backers say it would save Idaho wineries money while also creating new business in Idaho.


Idaho schools chief seeks 5.3% budget hike to $2 billion

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho schools chief Sherri Ybarra is proposing a 5.3% hike in public school funding to just under $2 billion from the state's general fund. The Republican superintendent of public instruction made the request Thursday to the Legislature's budget-setting committee. The request is about $100 million more than last year's budget, and about $20 million more than requested by Republican Gov. Brad Little. The money is used to educate some 300,000 students in K-12 in Idaho's 115 school districts. The Joint Appropriations-Finance Committee won't make a decision on setting the schools budget until later in the legislative session.


Idaho House committee OKs bill to end daylight saving time

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho residents wouldn't have to fall back or spring ahead for daylight saving time under proposed legislation. The House State Affairs Committee voted Thursday to introduce the measure brought forward by Republican Rep. Christy Zito. Zito introduced similar legislation last year, but it failed in the full House on a 55-15 vote. A similar fate is expected this year, and there was some mirth among lawmakers on the committee. Zito after the meeting acknowledged getting the bill signed into law is a long shot but said it's high on the list of what her constituents in rural southwestern Idaho want.


Boise State sues Mountain West Conference over TV contract

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State University has filed a legal complaint against the Mountain West Conference over a TV contract. Boise State claims the Mountain West breached its contract with the school and violated the school's rights. The complaint also says the conference is ending benefits the school negotiated as part of its 2012 deal to stay in the Mountain West, including a $1.8 million annual bonus. The deal gave Boise State a bigger portion of the conference's television revenue and allowed the university to negotiate home games separately. Boise State claims the conference attempted to end the agreement without the university's knowledge.

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