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Eye On Boise

Tue., March 10, 2009, 10:07 a.m.

Otter: ‘I’m feeling good about it’

Gov. Butch Otter enjoys a performance of an Irish reel by young dancers, as he declares
Gov. Butch Otter enjoys a performance of an Irish reel by young dancers, as he declares "Irish Heritage Month" in Idaho. After the proclamation-signing and dancing, Otter reflected on his first meeting with his economic stimulus committee on Monday, and said he'll meet with the group, which includes three former governors, again on Wednesday, in hopes of finalizing his recommendations for spending the federal stimulus money. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

After applauding a group of young Irish dancers and declaring "Irish-American Heritage Month in Idaho" this morning, Gov. Butch Otter reflected a bit on his first meeting yesterday with his executive stimulus committee, which includes three former governors and five former state budget directors. "I'm feeling good about it, from the aspect that we now understand the limitations and the rules, if you will, the rules and the regulations," he told Eye on Boise. "My gosh, we had 35 years of institutional memory setting there. They all had holdbacks and they all had small recessions, John Evans had one of the biggest in '81-'83. Anyway, it was great."

Otter said the kind of guidance he wanted was "the institutional memory and direction and discipline that each and every one of 'em brought. They'd say, 'Boy, don't do this because I remember when we had to do that. Be careful of getting any of this money into the ongoing needs.' ... I got a lot of that. There were some great questions from all three former governors." Otter met with his committee for two and a half hours yesterday, he said. Asked what comes next, he said, "I meet with them again tomorrow and show 'em my draft, we look at my draft, if we have a fairly good understanding and acceptance of the draft I hopefully will be submitting that to the Legislature three days ahead of my own pre-set schedule, and quite a few days ahead of the federal government's schedule." That'd put Otter's presentation of his revised budget proposal to lawmakers on Monday.

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.