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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2018

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 10, 2018



TUESDAY, JAN. 9, 2018

Lawmakers, lobbyists, reporters and Statehouse staffers file into the Lincoln Auditorium, the Idaho state Capitol’s largest hearing room, on Tuesday for mandatory anti-sexual harassment training. (Betsy Z. Russell / SR)

Idaho lawmakers undergo anti-sexual harassment training

Hundreds of Idaho legislators, Statehouse staffers, reporters and lobbyists underwent “respectful workplace” training on Tuesday, and top legislative leaders vowed that harassment is “never acceptable in the Idaho state Capitol.” Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, Rexburg, added, “This is not just sexual harassment, but any kind of harassment...

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Brandon Hixon

Former Rep. Hixon dead at age 36

House Speaker Scott Bedke just announced “some bad news” to the House: “Former Rep. Brandon Hixon has tragically taken his own life. Our thoughts go first to family and friends who are suffering from this loss.” Bedke said, “We should … support those who are...

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Why Otter didn't make the road-projects transfer...

Under questioning from both co-chairs of JFAC, Sen. Shawn Keough and Rep. Maxine Bell, Jani Revier, Gov. Butch Otter’s budget director, had this explanation for why the governor’s budget proposal doesn’t account for transferring $27.5 million to the Idaho Transportation Department’s strategic initiatives fund, as...

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MONDAY, JAN. 8, 2018

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter (AP / Otto Kitsinger)

Idaho governor pitches tax cuts

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter rolled out a major tax-cut proposal Monday in his 12th and final State of the State message to a joint session of the Legislature. “It’s true that our tax burden in Idaho is relatively light compared with other states,” the third-term governor told lawmakers. “But our income levels also remain comparatively low...

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Otter: 'I've come a long way'

Gov. Butch Otter said, “We have constitutional, legal and social responsibilities to the people of Idaho. Those include preparing them for productive citizenship with accessible educational opportunities, safe communities and equal protection of the law. I believe the plan of action recommended in my Executive...

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Gov. Butch Otter is applauded at his final State of the State address on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at the Idaho state Capitol in Boise. (AP / Otto Kitsinger)

Otter on progress...

“My friends, I say again: Idaho is stronger and more economically diverse than ever,” Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers today in his State of the State message. “Our unemployment rate is near a record low. Wages are on the rise. Whole industry sectors are emerging...

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Information security proposals

After recounting how Idaho dealt with last year’s disastrous floods and drawing applause when Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers, “For the first time since the 1950s we put more water back into the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer than we pumped out in 2017,” Otter turned...

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Otter: Improving Idaho’s relationship with the feds

Gov. Butch Otter, a former congressman who first went back to D.C. vowing to tell the federal government to “butt out” of Idaho, told lawmakers today, “Obstructionists in Congress and the undue influence of a carryover proscribe-and-punish mentality in some federal agencies are still slowing...

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Gov. Butch Otter is applauded at his final State of the State address on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at the Idaho state Capitol in Boise. (AP / Otto Kitsinger)

Otter outlines tax-cut proposals

“It’s true that our tax burden in Idaho is relatively light compared with other states,” Gov. Butch Otter told the House and Senate in his State of the State message today. “But our income levels also remain comparatively low, and beneath our own expectations.” He...

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Unemployment insurance tax cut is back

“As I said at the end of the 2017 legislative session, unemployment tax relief should be job one for 2018 - I hope you agree,” Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers, drawing applause. Last year, he proposed a cut to the unemployment insurance tax rates that...

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Otter calls for funding new higher ed CEO

Turning to higher education, Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers that he’s recommending hiring an “executive officer to coordinate the work of all our higher education institutions,” a change he said “will upend the status quo.” The move is aimed at finding “tens of millions of...

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Education budget: A 6.03% increase

Gov. Butch Otter is outlining his education proposals for the coming year, including the next installment in the teacher career ladder: Nearly $42 million in the coming year for the fourth year of the five-year plan. Overall, Otter is proposing a 6.03 percent increase in...

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Otter pays tribute to Davis

“Despite the talent and experience contained in this august body, I’m sure many of you share my feelings about starting a legislative session without the able assistance of former Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis,” Gov. Butch Otter said today in his State of the State...

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