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Eye On Boise

Wed., March 18, 2009, 10:02 p.m.

Uncertainty on eve of transportation vote

Here’s a link to my full story at about how, on the eve of a big do-or-die vote on Gov. Butch Otter’s transportation tax package, the governor’s office discovered a $10 million math error in its main bill and a citizens group released a damaging report raising questions about both the need for and fairness of the proposals. Lawmakers are divided on the governor’s proposals, which are a tough sell because they raise taxes and fees during an economic downturn. “I’m against them both,” declared state Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake. “It’s the wrong timing - how do you square the stimulus money with raising taxes at this time?” State Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, said he’s undecided. “This is a tough time, but I recognize the condition our roads are in,” he said. Jon Hanian, Otter’s press secretary, said, “We feel like we’ve spent a lot of time getting to this point. … We’re hopeful that we’re going to be able to convince enough lawmakers that we’ll be able to do something substantive.”

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Eye On Boise

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