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Eye On Boise

Guv: State more efficient now

Gov. Otter said, “Our state government today is far better and more efficient than it was two years ago.” He said “all our state agencies are continuing to build partnerships, find efficiencies and develop smarter ways of doing their jobs.”

The governor has been highlighting some of what state agencies have done to save money. The state prisons and parole system are saving $32 million a year, he said, by improving offender assessment and placement and making better use of retained-jurisdiction programs; as a result, the inmate population is more than 1,500 below projections. ITD Director Brian Ness has unveiled a realignment plan that he says will save $1.5 million over the next two years. The Division of Building Safety is saving $415,000 a year through such steps as sharing office space, using videoconferencing and issuing more permits online. And Otter said his tax compliance initiative, which added tax auditors, “now is bringing in more than $1 million a month to the general fund that previously was going uncollected. That's money we can use for public schools or other pressing needs.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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