Idaho Briefing – November 20

This is a summary of a few items in the Idaho Weekly Briefing for November 20. Interested in subscribing? Send us a note at

Biggest news of the week probably was the announcement of next year’s retirement by Boise State University President Bob Kustra, though it had been widely expected for a while. That change in presidency will doubtless be a major topic of discussion in the year ahead.

A surge in the number of Idahoans 16 and older working or looking for work in October increased the pool of available workers for employment and pushed the state’s unemployment rate up to 2.9 percent. While October’s one-tenth of a percentage point increase in unemployment was the first increase in eight years, the addition of 4,850 people to the labor force was one of the largest monthly increases on record and helped move the state’s labor force participation rate up to 63.5 percent.

The U.S. Department of the Interior said the Bureau of Land Management has signed a Record of Decision for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project. The B2H Project will provide additional electrical capacity between the Pacific Northwest and the Intermountain West regions.

The Idaho Water Resource Board heard this week that about 280,000 acre-feet of water is expected to be recharged into the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer this winter. That’s on top of more than 90,000 acre-feet of recharge since the end of August.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo and Banking Committee members Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia), along with other senators, announced an agreement on legislative proposals to improve the financial regulatory framework and promote economic growth.

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is seeking public comments on the proposal to revise and update the motorized travel system in the Big Wood River watershed northwest of Ketchum

PHOTO The revamped Drop and Impact Pad (DRIP) Outdoor Facility. See article in the health and education section. (Idaho State University)