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Idaho legislative committee advances affirmative action ban

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A panel of Idaho lawmakers has passed a bill banning affirmative action for state and local governments and public education. The House State Affairs committee passed the bill from Republican Rep. Heather Scott on Wednesday, sending it to the full House floor after hearing several members of the public testify in opposition. Scott says the bill prevents discriminatory and preferential treatment based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin. ACLU policy director Kathy Griesmyer says that misrepresents the purpose of affirmative action, which is to ensure barriers to equal access to education and employment are removed so all may flourish.


Idaho State players win settlement in false arrest lawsuit

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A Utah county has agreed to pay more than $10,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by two Idaho State University football players who say they were falsely arrested during a bank robbery investigation. The Standard-Examiner reported Nehemiah McFarlin and Atoatasi Fox will receive $5,100 each in the settlement with Box Elder County. The pair were arrested for a robbery in Idaho in December 2016. The men said they were arrested despite presenting alibis. The lawsuit said police arrested the men based only on a witness statement saying the robber was black and used a white car. Box Elder County attorneys could not be immediately be reached for comment.


Appeals court won't reconsider inmate's gender surgery case

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has become the first circuit in the nation to order a state to pay for an inmate's gender confirmation surgery, ruling Monday that a three-judge panel decision from August will stand. The appellate court first ruled in August that the state must give the inmate gender confirmation surgery, agreeing with a federal judge in Idaho that denying the surgery amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. But several judges have expressed concern with the underlying ruling. Idaho Gov. Brad Little says the state will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.


Idaho bill would ban transgender women athletes in schools

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho lawmaker wants to ban transgender women athletes from participating in sports that align with their gender identity. Boise State Public Radio reports that the bill by Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Barbara Ehardt was introduced Wednesday in the House Education Committee, It could add significant complications for state colleges and universities that are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The NCAA requires its members to allow transgender athletes to participate in sports that align with their gender identity. Ehardt said transgender athletes are acting as a “roadblock” to girls and women who want to play sports with their peers.


Wrongly convicted men testify before Idaho lawmakers

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two men who combined spent nearly 40 years in Idaho prisons for crimes they didn't commit testified in favor of legislation that would compensate the wrongly convicted. Christopher Tapp and Charles Fain on Tuesday told lawmakers on the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee that they left prison with no resources after DNA evidence proved their innocence. Both had been convicted of murder. The legislation would pay $60,000 a year for wrongful incarceration and $75,000 per year on death row. The committee won't vote on whether to send the legislation to the full House until Thursday.


Committee delays vote on 1-year freeze on property taxes

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation aimed at reducing property taxes drew so many people wanting to speak that a House panel ran out of time and delayed voting. The House Revenue and Taxation Committee heard about two hours of testimony Tuesday before adjourning. House Majority Leader Mike Moyle says the one-year, statewide freeze on property taxes is needed to start a conversation because people are being forced out of their homes. City and county officials spoke against the bill. They say freezing revenue would create a financial hardship because expenses will continue to rise. Republican Committee Chairman Gary Collins says the committee will take up the legislation again on Wednesday.

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