Idaho Gov. Butch Otter spoke at the annual conference of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry this morning at Tamarack Resort, and he offered some budget warnings. “Now, don’t get me wrong: We are doing better than a lot of other states,” Otter said in remarks prepared for the event. “And it’s my goal to keep growing Idaho’s economy to the $60 billion level. But times have tightened up quite a bit over the past year, and especially since early this year. And for the next year or so the budget watchwords are going to have to be ‘CAUTION’ and ‘FRUGAL.’”
The governor also made a strong pitch for his transportation plan, which, though still being refined, calls for addressing a $240 million-a-year backlog in road construction and maintenance. “The importance of caution and frugality becomes even more apparent when you consider what we MUST spend more money on,” Otter said. “First among those priorities is transportation – our roads, highways, and bridges throughout Idaho. … It is affecting how and where you do business. And it truly is a statewide issue. We have to cowboy up and muster the political will to act now.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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