Gov. Butch Otter has named the eight-member panel that will help him study how Idaho can make use of federal stimulus money. It includes three former governors and five former state budget directors, and is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Click below to see the full list. Otter also announced that he's signed an agreement to accept an additional $25 per week in stimulus funds to be added to every unemployment benefit check issued in the state through the end of 2009. That's estimated at $1.2 million.
C.L. “Butch” Otter
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 19, 2009
GOVERNOR APPOINTS PANEL TO REVIEW, RECOMMEND STIMULUS SPENDING PROPOSALS
(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced today that three former governors and five former state budget directors agreed to review proposals from state agencies and the private sector and provide analysis on how he can make the best use of federal stimulus funding set aside for Idaho.
Governor Otter created a “stimulus executive committee” by executive order on Tuesday. He said today that all eight people he asked to serve agreed, including former Republican Governor Phil Batt, former Democrat Governors Cecil Andrus and John Evans, former Republican administrators of the state Division of Financial Management Mike Brassey, Brian Whitlock and Jeff Malmen, and former Democrat DFM administrators Marty Peterson and Darrell Manning.
“The wealth of experience and diversity of backgrounds that these distinguished statesmen bring to the table will help ensure that state government puts this taxpayer funding to work in the best, most efficient way for the benefit of all Idahoans,” Governor Otter said. “Their advice and counsel, and the respect that they bring to this process, will result in careful and thoughtful stewardship over these public resources.”
Proposals are due to the Division of Financial Management by noon on Wednesday, March 4, for how to use the stimulus funding approved by Congress last week and by President Obama on Tuesday. The advisory committee will consider those proposals and provide its analysis to the Governor by the close of business on Thursday, March 19.
Also today, Governor Otter signed an agreement allowing the federal government to add $25 a week to every unemployment benefit check issued through the end of 2009. That funding is part of the federal stimulus bill and will represent an additional $1.2 million a week going into the economies of communities throughout Idaho.
However, the Governor cautioned the recipients of unemployment benefits not to build that additional $25 a week into their household budgets because there is no assurance that the added funding will remain in place after 2009. The Idaho Department of Labor will include a note with the first enhanced benefit check reminding recipients that the increase is temporary.