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Amid concerns bill would defund the Idaho National Guard, House committee shelves legislation • Idaho Capital Sun

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Amid concerns bill would defund the Idaho National Guard, House committee shelves legislation • Idaho Capital Sun


After military officials said proposed Idaho legislation could result in defunding the Idaho National Guard, Idaho lawmakers stopped the “Defend the Guard Act” from advancing in the Idaho Legislature.

Lawmakers on the House Transportation and Defense Committee held Senate Bill 1252 in committee on a 12-4 vote on Monday. The move likely halts the bill from advancing this legislative session.

The proposed legislation would have required Congress declare war, or an invasion or insurrection, to deploy Idaho National Guard troops for active duty combat. The Senate passed the bill two weeks ago on a 27-8 vote. 

Idaho’s bill is model legislation by a group called Bring Our Troops Home. No Defend the Guard bills have become law. The Arizona Senate in March 2023 was the first legislative body to pass the bill, the group’s website says. 

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Supporters see the bill as a way to rein in what some call unconstitutional federal war powers, since Congress hasn’t formally declared war since World War II. But critics worry the legislation could limit the Idaho National Guard, which officials say is mostly federally funded.

“If this bill were to pass, it would restrict the ability of the Department of Defense from being able to utilize its combat reserve. If the Idaho National Guard is not able to be accessed, why would they continue to fund us?” Command Chief Master Sergeant Lehi Hartwell, who has served in the Idaho Air National Guard for 23 years, told lawmakers Monday. “This bill is purported to defend the guard, but it will truly defund the guard.”

Hartwell told lawmakers he was speaking as a private citizen, and not in an official capacity.

The motion to hold the bill in committee came from Rep. Ron Crane, who was substituting for his son, Rep. Jaron Crane, R-Nampa. After approving Ron Crane’s motion, the committee didn’t take up a motion by Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, to send the bill to the House floor, but without a recommendation on whether it pass. 

“The primacy of the Constitution is important to me, and to many of us. I understand the fears of what might happen, because I think there’s a reality there as well. But we do need to make a decision on this, I believe,” Dixon said.

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Equipment, funds and pay for 5,000 Idaho National Guard personnel “are endangered by this proposal,” Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, the adjutant general of Idaho and the commander of the Idaho National Guard, wrote in a March 6 letter to a state lawmaker, previously obtained by the Idaho Capital Sun. The Idaho National Guard’s primary focus, Garshak wrote, is to train for “its federal mission of fighting and winning the nation’s wars.”

“If Idaho were to limit by state law when and if the appropriate federal authority could call on the Guard for federal combat or (Defense Support of Civil Authorities) missions, we believe Idaho would lose federal missions, equipment, and funding. The impact on funding could be as much as hundreds of millions annually,” Garshak wrote, echoing concerns he’s had over years of similar bills proposed in Idaho.

Eight people, including several officials in the Idaho National Guard, testified against the bill in committee on Monday. Many echoed concerns that Garshak has shared. They worried that the bill could risk funds and resources for the Idaho National Guard.

Five people spoke in favor of the bill. Some highlighted the toll of war.

“Patriotism is ensuring that, per the Constitution, American blood is only spilled when absolutely necessary to ensure our national survival,” said Ryan Spoon, who said he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy West Point and served five years as an officer in the U.S. Army. Spoon said 17 of his classmates have since died, including two from suicide. 

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Idaho Sen. Ben Adams, R-Nampa, works from the Senate floor at the State Capitol building on Jan. 9, 2023. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Sen. Ben Adams, R-Nampa, defended the bill in committee, saying it only limits overseas combat deployment, not overseas training. Adams has previously said he doubted Congress would defund the Idaho National Guard if the bill passed. 

Adams told the Idaho Capital Sun after the committee that it’s his understanding that the bill won’t move forward this legislative session. He said work will continue on the issue.

“I heard a lot of misstatements, even from folks from the National Guard, representing the National Guard on the statute. They don’t understand this. It’ll take a bit more time for people to understand. … And so in the House, I think we’ll continue to have that discussion,” Adams told the Sun.



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WATCH LIVE: Day 8 of Chad Daybell murder trial – East Idaho News

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WATCH LIVE: Day 8 of Chad Daybell murder trial – East Idaho News


BOISE — The eighth day of Chad Daybell’s murder case is underway Monday in Ada County and more witnesses are expected to testify.

Daybell, who married Lori Vallow two weeks after his wife Tammy Daybell died in October 2019, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of Tammy and two of Lori’s kids – 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan. He is also charged with grand theft and insurance fraud. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Court proceedings are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. The trial will be live-streamed using court cameras and equipment. You can watch the proceedings in the video player above. You can also follow live written updates here.

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Former Pleasant Hill Officer Fatally Shot In Idaho

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Former Pleasant Hill Officer Fatally Shot In Idaho


PLEASANT HILL, CA — A former Pleasant Hill police officer working as a sheriff’s deputy in Idaho was shot and killed by a suspect Saturday in Boise, according to authorities.

Deputy Tobin Bolter, 27, was shot after he pulled the suspect over around 9 p.m. on an outstanding warrant. According to investigators, Bolter never even made it to the driver’s door.

Ada County, Idaho Sheriff Matt Clifford held a press conference to announce that Bolter succumbed to his injuries Sunday morning.

Find out what’s happening in Pleasant Hillwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

“We are devastated,” said the Sheriff’s Office on Facebook.

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A manhunt went out for the 65-year-old suspect, who was eventually found by law enforcement early Sunday. Police attempted to peacefully take the suspect into custody, they said, but after a confrontation where the suspect allegedly fired his gun at officers, he was shot and killed, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office said.

Find out what’s happening in Pleasant Hillwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Bolter had seven years of law enforcement experience and had been with the Sheriff’s Office since January, Clifford said. Prior to that, he worked with another police department in Idaho and for the Pleasant Hill Police Department.

Pleasant Hill police have not yet made a public announcement about Bolter’s death, but Brentwood police shared their condolences Sunday.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Deputy Tobin Bolter,” reads the post on Facebook, which noted that Bolter was a graduate of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office Academy.


By Katy St. Clair / Bay City News

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To request removal of your name from an arrest report, submit these required items to arrestreports@patch.com.



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Idaho State University hosts Bengal Visit Day – Local News 8

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Idaho State University hosts Bengal Visit Day – Local News 8


POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – Future Bengals were checking out their future home in Pocatello on Saturday.

Idaho State University held its Bengal Visit Day on campus. This day provided high school students and their families a chance to check out the campus and gave them all inclusive access to a number of different clubs and activities that the university provides.

ISU senior Katie Mink says it’s one of her favorite days of the year to see a lot of people on campus and show them what ISU is all about.

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“This is so important, really important for seniors, but even more important for high school juniors,” Mink said. “That’s kind of the biggest demographic that come to Bengal Visit Day. Coming to college is a really big decision and being able to experience campus and see what different academics we have to offer programs, activities, clubs, things like that is really important and can really make a difference in what college people choose.”

There are only a few weeks left until graduation at ISU with spring commencement ceremonies being held in two weeks on Saturday, May 4.

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