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Otter: Study stimulus ‘til March 19

Gov. Butch Otter has issued an executive order creating a “stimulus executive committee” to study the federal economic stimulus and make recommendations within 30 days on how Idaho should spend the money. That could mean a considerably longer legislative session, as lawmakers must set a budget for next year, and will need to factor in the federal money. “There remain a lot of unknowns here,” Otter said. “It will take a lot of work to get our arms around all the implications of this law. We need to make sure safeguards are in place and that every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed. This is taxpayer money, and all of us are committed to seeing it used in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

Otter gave each state agency until noon on March 4 to submit information to his office on how it anticipates using the stimulus money, and how it fits in with the agency’s mission, state law and the constitutional mandate to balance the state budget. Click below to read the governor’s full announcement.


GOVERNOR SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER FOR STATE HANDLING OF FEDERAL STIMULUS ACT

    (BOISE) – After thoroughly studying the newly signed bill and consulting with legislative leaders, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter issued an executive order today detailing a process for evaluating needs and implementing the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

    Executive Order 2009-06 (attached) creates a “stimulus executive committee” that will be appointed by the Governor to review state agency information and make recommendations within 30 days on how to best use the federal money designated for Idaho in the federal law. Those recommendations will be due by the close of business on March 19.
    
    “I’m grateful to the legislators who sat down with me and my staff to work through this enormous piece of legislation and agree on a process for ensuring we make good, sound and responsible decisions for the people of Idaho,” Governor Otter said. “There remain a lot of unknowns here. It will take a lot of work to get our arms around all the implications of this law. We need to make sure safeguards are in place and that every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed. This is taxpayer money, and all of us are committed to seeing it used in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

    Each state agency will have until noon on March 4 to submit information to the Governor on how it anticipates using stimulus funds applicable to its mission, in accordance with state law and the Idaho Constitution’s mandate to provide a balanced state budget.

    “I appreciate the Governor’s leadership, and the meticulous way all the implications of this complex federal law are being evaluated,” said Senator Dean Cameron of Rupert, co-chairman of the Legislature’s budget-setting Joint Finance Appropriations Committee. “The way we are working together on this issue should give all Idahoans a lot of confidence that we are doing it right.”

    “The Governor sees that the Legislature is an essential part of this process,” said Representative Maxine Bell of Jerome, co-chairman of the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee. “We look forward to working with him to ensure the requirements of this stimulus package and state law are observed, and that there is clarity, certainty and transparency in the process.”

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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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