Politico's Michael Falcone has an article out today on "Capitol Hell: The worst states to govern," which tags California first as the worst spot to be governor today, with its fiscal and political turmoil. New York, Arizona, New Jersey and Michigan also made the list, with "honorable mentions" for South Carolina, Illinois and Nevada. Idaho's not to be found on the list; in fact, Gov. Butch Otter has put out a fiscal year-end statement declaring that Idaho has its "financial house in order," and lauding the state's "safe, sound and cautious approach." He declared that "many other states wish they had the kind of balance sheet that Idaho’s state government enjoys," though he noted that measures like holdbacks, program cuts, furloughs and layoffs are part of Idaho's budget-balancing approach. “Nobody likes making those decisions, but they have to be made to fulfill our duty to the people we serve," the governor wrote. Click below to read his full statement.
IDAHO WELCOMES NEW BUDGET YEAR WITH FINANCIAL HOUSE IN ORDER
(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said today that the State of Idaho ended the fiscal year through June 30 with a balanced budget – as required by the Idaho Constitution – and with its financial house in order.
The Governor thanked the Legislature, his fellow constitutional officers, and the people of Idaho for their support of the public servants who are carefully and responsibly managing the tax dollars with which they are entrusted.
As State Treasurer Ron Crane put it in a recent statement, “our frugal, essentially conservative manner of fiscal government allows our citizens to benefit, sometimes in unseen ways, from the stability this style of leadership provides. We pay our bills, on time and as promised.”
“Our system of safeguards, checks and balances works. But it only works as well as the people who operate it. And that, in turn, is a direct reflection on the citizens whose values and civic virtue are carried forward by their public servants,” Governor Otter said. “As we begin what figures to be another difficult budget cycle, we remain committed to ensuring that the precious resources of our people are protected and used as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
Idaho has gained a national reputation for responsible financial management. The State consistently gets top marks from nationwide financial rating services. That is a direct result of a safe, sound and cautious approach to management that keeps Idaho ahead of the economic curve.
Many other states wish they had the kind of balance sheet that Idaho’s State government enjoys. In fact, five states – Arizona, California, Indiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania – may soon have to shut down state government operations as legislators continue struggling to balance their budgets. And 32 of the 46 states with fiscal years that ended June 30 began that day without budgets for the new fiscal year that started today.
However, Governor Otter and his fellow state leaders are taking nothing for granted. They are committed to vigilance in their stewardship of the money provided for State government by Idaho’s citizens.
“That often means making tough decisions about things like holdbacks, program cuts, furloughs and even layoffs,” Governor Otter said. “Nobody likes making those decisions, but they have to be made to fulfill our duty to the people we serve. I’m grateful for the tools Idahoans have given us to do the job we were hired to do.”