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Eye On Boise

A busy man

Former state GOP Chairman Blake Hall is the only one who gives not one, but two full presentations to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.

First, Hall addressed the influential joint budget committee as the president of the State Board of Education. Then, this week, he went before the same panel as administrator of the state Catastrophic Health Care Fund.

“It just shows you what a renaissance man I must be,” Hall said, when questioned about his double duty.

His Idaho Falls law firm has been administering the so-called CAT fund for the counties since 1985, and for the state since 1991. The firm is being paid nearly $200,000 a year for its services, and the program is just “one of my clients,” Hall said. He said he mainly earns his living as a trial lawyer in civil litigation.

“I work long hours,” Hall said.

Though he’s been giving the CAT budget pitch for over a decade, he’s only headed the Board of Ed for two years, and Hall said he didn’t really want to serve a second year as president. “I voted for Jim Hammond, he voted for me. I lost,” he explained. “I’m hopeful somebody else’ll be making the presentation on behalf of the state board next year.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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