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Eye On Boise

Not THAT desperate

With states across the country pressed for cash, a few are looking at selling naming rights to state parks, highways, bridges and other landmarks – especially if it means avoiding tax hikes.

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said, “We ought to try to be innovative. Colleges and universities have been doing it for years.”

Illinois’ governor proposed corporate sponsorships for state programs. And in Massachusetts, the House passed a bill to sell naming rights to state parks and forests, but it was killed amid an outcry in the Senate, where critics predicted it would lead to giant plastic Coke bottles atop the state Capitol.

Idaho’s no stranger to budget problems, but Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s office says there’s no interest here in selling any naming rights.

“The naming of buildings in the state government in Idaho is reserved typically for people who have had long, distinguished careers in public service,” said spokesman Mike Journee. “The governor believes that departing from that is not a good thing.”

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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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