Monthly Archives: June 2015

PODCAST: Same Sex Marriage Ruling and States’ Rights

The United States Supreme Court issued a ruling today legalizing same sex marriage in all 50 states.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter is among those concerned about what the ruling means for states’ rights. He issued the following statement.

“Today’s decision is truly disappointing for states, including Idaho, where the people chose to define marriage for themselves as between one man and one woman.

“I have maintained from the very beginning that it should be the prerogative of the states – not the courts – to determine whether same-sex marriage is consistent with the values, character, and moral fabric of that particular state. That is why it was especially troubling that the Court treated the 10th Amendment as a footnote, instead of the guiding principle our founding fathers intended.”

On that issue of the rights of states, here is University of Idaho Law Professor Shaakirrah Sanders:

Copyright 2015 Idaho Public Radio

Posted June 26, 2015


Analysis: Supreme Court Decision on Same Sex Marriage

The United States Supreme Court has legalized same sex marriage in all 50 states. University of Idaho Law Professor Shaakirrah Sanders says the ruling was almost inevitable, considering prior opinions on the issue. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:18 )

Listen here:

In one sense, Sanders says, the case is an example of how the court system works, what happens when a social movement moves into a court of law. Over the years, she says, we’ve had rulings by judges, and laws passed by state legislatures, all funneling their way to the last stop, the US Supreme Court. And she says the ruling on same sex was a little inevitable, at least to this extent:

Shaakirrah Sanders: “Considering the prior opinion we had in Windsor, and the reactions among federal and state courts after Windsor, with the exception of the case that was before the Supreme Court, all of the federal courts of appeals had ruled in favor of same sex couples, and the vast majority of federal trial courts had done so, as well, and then there was also sort of some parallel movement in the same direction in state courts.”

Sanders says it’s hard to put a specific date on when the shift started to occur, but case-wise, she says a shift could be seen starting in the 1990s, when Colorado was told it couldn’t change its Constitution to prohibit anti- discrimination laws that favored the LGBT community.

I’m Glenn Mosley reporting.

Copyright 2015 Idaho Public Radio

Posted June 26, 2015


Your Health Idaho on Supreme Court Ruling

The United States Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, turning aside a challenge to the law.

Your Health Idaho, Idaho’s state health insurance exchange, released this statement in response to the ruling.

“No matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decided today, Your Health Idaho customers were always going to continue to have access to tax credits to help pay for health insurance costs because we are a state-based exchange. While other state’s spent a lot of time worrying about what the Supreme Court might decide, we were able to focus on taking care of our customers because of the wise decision lawmakers made three years ago. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and state representatives knew from the very beginning the best way to serve Idahoans was to ensure we maintained control of our exchange and didn’t let important health insurance decisions fall into the hands of the federal government.” – Pat Kelly, Your Health Idaho executive director

More Record Breaking Temperatures Expected in Pacific Northwest

Death Valley in California averages temperatures of 115 degrees this time of year.

With a dome of high pressure settling over the Pacific Northwest, temperatures in this area are expected to rival Death Valley.

Lewiston’s temperature is predicted to soar to 113 degrees, and it’ll predicted to be 110 in Yakima, Wenatchee and Walla Walla, Washington. In Spokane, Moscow, and Pullman, the temperature is expected to be over 100 degrees both Saturday and Sunday.

That this is second heatwave to hit the region this month is unusual, according to meteorologist Nic Loyd of Washington State University’s AgWeatherNet.

“Two record-breaking heatwaves in a month is uncommon, but for both of them to happen during June? I’d say that’s exceptional,” he said in a press release. He said prolonged periods of heat usually don’t appear in the region until mid-July or August.

But this year, a heatwave three weeks ago broke average high-temperature records for the month of June, and now, Loyd said, “the question isn’t whether a record will be set,, the question is, how much will the record be shattered by?”

Loyd says the high-pressure ridge is estimated to linger over the Northwest at least through Wednesday, he said, bringing with it increased risk risk of fire danger, and the potential for isolated thunderstorms could mean lightning strikes. “

Posted June 25, 2015


WSU Regents Will Begin Process to Find New President

The Regents of Washington State University are expected to meet within the next several weeks to begin the process of finding a successor to the late Elson Floyd. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (:53 )

Listen here:

When WSU Provost Dan Bernardo stood before the crowd at a student-led memorial service for Elson Floyd on Monday in Pullman, he did so as acting president of the university, but he said he was not the replacement for Floyd because, he said, no one can do that:

Dan Bernardo: “We’re going to move on, as has been said by so many, because that’s what Elson would expect us to do.”


(WSU’s Dan Bernardo speaking Monday in Pullman)

Part of moving on is the need to find the 11th president of Washington State.

The university says the Board of Regents will most likely meet within the next several weeks to name an interim president, who will serve until a new president is hired.

It’s also possible that at that meeting, the Regents will name a search committee for a national search for Floyd’s successor.

Elson Floyd died on June 20th of complications from colon cancer. He was 59 years old.

I’m Glenn Mosley reporting.

Copyright 2015 Idaho Public Radio

Posted June 24, 2015


Student-Led Memorial for Elson Floyd Held at WSU

An impromptu student-led memorial was held for Elson Floyd Monday at Washington State University in Pullman. The tenth president of WSU died on Saturday. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (:50 )

Listen here:

They came to share their grief and their stories about Elson Floyd:

Jeffrey Guillroy: “He was a comet that suddenly appeared among us.

Jeffrey Guillory, WSU’s Diversity Education Director, was among several people who spoke from the heart at the student-led memorial service for Floyd, who died early Saturday morning after a battle with cancer.

Another was former Student Regent Raphael Pruneda:

Raphael Pruneda: “He was so approachable, like if anyone wanted to talk, he’d be like, come on in.”


Other speakers said Floyd loved his students like family, and they remembered his kindness, and said his legacy will live on in those students.

Members of Floyd’s family also attended the memorial. They spoke to well-wishers, and shared hugs.

WSU said its public service for Elson Floyd will be held in August, when students have returned to campus for the fall semester.

I’m Glenn Mosley reporting.


Posted June 22, 2015


Idaho SBOE Considering College Admissions Initiatives

About 50 percent of the students who graduate from Idaho high schools every year choose not to continue on to college.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter and the Idaho State Board of Education have set a year 2020 goal of having 60 percent of the state’s high school graduates either complete a college degree or a certificate of some kind. Idaho’s rate at the moment is about 42 percent.

At its June meeting in Coeur d’Alene, the State Board received an update on its college admissions initiatives.

Materials prepared for the Board’s meeting said, “Together, the three (3) initiatives create a statewide system for proactively admitting high school seniors and enrolling them into Idaho public post-secondary institutions to increase education attainment levels among Idaho students.”

The three initiatives are:

* Direct Admissions – This initiative would identify high school seniors based on a minimum grade point average and/or SAT score and proactively admit them into Idaho public post-secondary institutions.

* Next Steps Idaho website – This would serve as a “one-stop shop” for learning about, applying for and enrolling in post-secondary education.

* Online Common Application – This application would streamline the application process for prospective students who complete their admissions forms online.

Staff with the State Board worked with the College and University Presidents to develop the Direct Admissions proposal. The idea started with University of Idaho President Chuck Staben, and eventually all eight institutions signed on.

If the SBOE approves the Direct Admissions proposal, it can be implemented in Fall 2015 for students entering higher education in Fall 2016.

Action on all of the college admissions initiatives is expected at the Board’s next meeting, August 12- 13 at Idaho State University, Meridian.

Posted June 21, 2015