Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who wraps up his term as chairman of the Western Governors Association at the group's annual conference this week in Coeur d'Alene, says he's “found a lot more comfort … and productivity with the Western Governors than any of the other governors associations.” In fact, Otter quit the National Governors Association two years ago as a money-saving move amid state budget cuts; he says he feels like he can get more done working with just the 19 western states. At the WGA, during his term as chairman, Otter's brought additional focus on industrial energy efficiency, nuclear power development in the west in the wake of the Japanese tsunami, and, at this week's conference, a special session on how western states can help out returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan; he's also continued the association's work on issues like forest health and water. Here's a link to our full Q-and-A with Otter.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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