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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2016

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13, 2016



'Wage compression' plagues Idaho's state agencies... 

Idaho’s state agencies have been suffering from “wage compression,” Jani Revier, Gov. Butch Otter’s budget director, told lawmakers on the joint Change in Employee Compensation Committee this afternoon; you can listen live here. “Employees have not been progressing through the pay grade, and this has...

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Bill introduced to ban powdered alcohol

With no discussion, the House State Affairs Committee has voted unanimously to introduce the second bill it’s considered this year, a proposal from the state Liquor Division to ban powdered alcohol. That move clears the way for a full hearing on the bill. Jeff Anderson,...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 12, 2016


Carolyn Lukensmeyer, executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona, discusses the civil discourse training Idaho lawmakers are receiving today. (Betsy Z. Russell)

Idaho lawmakers work to be more civil... 

Idaho legislators are undergoing civil discourse training today, working with the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. The institute has worked with 12 other states, but Idaho is the first to schedule a Legislature-wide training session backed by leadership; Maine is...

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MONDAY, JAN. 11, 2016


State Board of Ed endorses Otter's ed proposals

The state Board of Education met today, and voted unanimously to endorse the education budget and initiatives Gov. Butch Otter outlined in his State of the State address this afternoon. Board President Don Soltman said in a statement, “Today, Gov. Otter outlined education initiatives to...

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Otter wants boost for Idaho schools, higher ed

Education dominated Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s 10th State of the State message to lawmakers on Monday, as he laid out an aggressive plan to boost public schools and higher education in Idaho after years of lagging; here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com....

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Keough: Otter's revenue estimate 'realistic' 

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, the new Senate co-chair of the budget-setting Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, is welcoming Gov. Butch Otter’s revenue estimate that underlies his budget proposal for next year. Otter set his revenue projection at 4.9 percent growth in the general fund for fiscal year...

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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter takes questions from reporters after his State of the State message on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 (Betsy Z. Russell)

Otter: 'The right thing to do' 

Taking questions from reporters after his State of the State speech today, Gov. Butch Otter was asked if his education proposals come because he’s concerned about his legacy as governor. “I don’t know if you’re going to believe this, but I haven’t spent five minutes...

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Ybarra: Ed as priority? 'He really proved that today' 

Idaho state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra was ebullient after Gov. Butch Otter's State of the State address, in which he backed several of her major proposals, including restoring operational, or discretionary, funds for schools back to 2009 levels. "I think that it's a great time...

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Otter backs raises for state employees

Gov. Butch Otter spoke out on the need for raises for state employees in his State of the State message. "They take great pride in being public servants and in being responsive to the needs of Idaho citizens," he said. "That’s why I’m so pleased...

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Idaho bringing military in on cybersecurity efforts

Idaho “cybersecurity” efforts are bringing in the military, Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers. “The Idaho Cyber Operations Squadron will include 71 Air Guard personnel, including 15 who will be working full-time on this important new mission. The Squadron also will be a great resource for...

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Lawmakers applaud outgoing commerce chief Sayer

Former state Commerce Director Jeff Sayer received sustained applause after Gov. Butch Otter recognized him in his State of the State message this afternoon, lauding his work. “The team he’s built and the programs he’s launched will continue to have a great impact on Idaho’s...

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