Gov. Butch Otter met with legislative leaders from both parties and both houses this afternoon for an hour and a half, but there’s still no resolution to the standoff between the governor and the Legislature over expansion of the Statehouse. The meeting included experts involved with the project and a PowerPoint presentation. “I think one of the main purposes of this meeting was to get everyone on the same page in terms of the … information that was used by the Legislature in reaching the conclusions it reached,” said Mark Warbis, Otter’s communications director. “Beyond that, it was a discussion between the people involved about where we go from here. No resolutions were reached, no conclusions were reached. … I think everybody’s described it as useful and productive.”
Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs, said lawmakers have been studying and debating the issue since 1995, and it makes sense to bring Otter up to date on the factors that led them to settle on building underground wings to expand Statehouse hearing rooms and office space. The project was in the early stages of site preparation – $130 million in bonds have been sold for the Statehouse renovation and expansion – when Otter issued a stop-work order last Friday.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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