Here’s a link to a video excerpt from the Idaho Public TV interview with Gov. Butch Otter in which he discusses the flap over legislative computer funding. In it, the governor says he opposed the purchase of new laptop computers for lawmakers because he wanted to include it in a standardized purchasing program for the state, to save money. “But this is a year later,” the governor said in the interview. “It was probably poor timing to bring it up, especially the second day of the session, and I apologize, and I will apologize to Dean and Maxine and to the entire JFAC committee and to the Legislature for the characterization that we put around them putting the money back in their budget. … Also, I think we need to move beyond that.” Otter said he has “full confidence” in his budget director, Wayne Hammon, “but it was just a poor choice of words and I’ve asked him not to use those words any more.”
Those words, of course, included “sneak” and “budget sleight of hand.” Said Otter, “I’ve asked him, both he and my chief (of staff) to go back to the Legislature and make it right, because it was something we shouldn’t have done.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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