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Eye On Boise

TUESDAY, JAN. 16, 2007


Whoops, not THAT Steve Kren

The governor’s office is making a correction – it turns out the Steve Kren that Gov. Otter appointed to the Legislature is NOT a Nampa city councilman – he’s the son of the Nampa city councilman who shares his name. “It happens all the time,...

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Capitol renovation talks are on

Gov. Butch Otter is meeting with at least some legislative leaders this morning to discuss their standoff over the addition of underground “wings” to the state capitol, but Otter’s communications director, Mark Warbis, said Otter will be talking with many legislators informally about the issue....

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He took 'road less traveled'

State Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong opened his JFAC presentation this morning by noting that he retired in June after 36 years with Blue Cross of Idaho, but his retirement only lasted as week – as he was then appointed director of the state’s...

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MONDAY, JAN. 15, 2007

Celebrating Martin Luther King's legacy

Here’s a dispatch from S-R reporter Parker Howell on the festivities today in the state Capitol for Martin Luther King Jr.-Idaho Human Rights Day: Instructed to tell one truth and one lie about himself to a small group of Idahoans this afternoon, Gov. Butch Otter...

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Nonini offers tribute to Burke

Today was Dr. Michael Burke’s ninth, and last, time hosting lawmakers at an annual pizza lunch sponsored by the state’s two community colleges. Burke, president of North Idaho College, didn’t mention his upcoming departure – he’ll start a new job at a California college in...

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More out-of-pocket costs for state employees

Gov. Butch Otter’s budget director, Brad Foltman, is briefing the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning on Otter’s proposed budget. Among the details he’s revealed: Otter’s plan to give merit-based raises averaging 5 percent to state employees but hold benefit costs neutral could mean state workers...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 12, 2007

Governor issues stop-work order

Gov. Butch Otter has issued a stop-work order on the the capitol renovation project, including the construction of underground "wings." His office confirmed this afternoon that the construction contract includes a five-day notice provision to stop work, and Otter issued that five-day notice today. “The...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 11, 2007

Otter appoints Hagedorn to House

Marv Hagedorn of Meridian, who lost to Rep. Mark Snodgrass, R-Meridian, in the GOP primary in District 20 last spring, has been appointed to the House by Gov. Butch Otter to replace Rep. Shirley McKague, who was appointed to the Senate. Hagedorn, who is vice...

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Otter says he'd like to shoot a wolf

“I’m prepared to bid for the first ticket to shoot a wolf myself,” Gov. Butch Otter declared to cheers at a snowy sportsmen’s rally on the state Capitol steps just now. Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife-Idaho organized the event to rally for immediate wolf delisting...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 10, 2007

Otter: Idaho Guard should not be called

Governor Butch Otter just issued this statement, in advance of President Bush’s nationally televised address tonight: “Idahoans serving with my old outfit, the Idaho Army National Guard's 116th Cavalry Brigade, spent 18 months deployed for their mission in Iraq. “DOD regulations state that units may...

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Lawmakers see the real thing inside state prisons

Space for housing the severely mentally ill and rehabilitating drug offenders is lacking in Idaho prisons, legislators learned firsthand Tuesday on a tour of state lockups south of Boise. Two dozen lawmakers visited a crowded mental health ward, talked with inmates in a coveted treatment...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 9, 2007

Big Bronco parade will be on the 20th

Boise State University has announced plans for a parade and a “Statehouse Salute” to the Bronco football team for its Tostitos Fiesta Bowl win and undefeated season, all on Jan. 20th, a Saturday. Details still are being settled, but the parade, which is being planned...

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Dems say they're ready to work with Otter

Minority Democrats from both the House and the Senate gathered today to give their response to Gov. Butch Otter’s State of the State message and budget proposals. Overall, they said they’re ready to work with the new GOP guv. “While we are Democrats and Republicans,...

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Governor's agenda is before lawmakers

An ebullient Gov. Butch Otter laid out his vision for Idaho on Monday, calling for $22 million in credits to mitigate the sales tax on groceries for low-income residents, eliminating a large state agency, and moving to a "pay as you go" approach for new...

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MONDAY, JAN. 8, 2007

'My door is always open'

At the conclusion of his first State of the State message, new Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers, “I want each of you to know that my door is always open, and I am eager for your insight and perspectives.” He had taken pains throughout his...

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Was it a joke?

There was a little pause after Gov. Otter, after talking about his plan for a new “sprung structure” to help house Idaho’s overflowing prison inmate population, said this: “In addition, I will ask Chairmen Darrington and Clark to join me in exploring other innovative ways...

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Education proposals

Otter just told lawmakers he’ll recommend a public school budget of more than $1.36 billion in general funds. For colleges and universities, he’s calling for $275.6 million, including $12.9 million to help make salaries more competitive. “And speaking of universities, how about those Broncos?!” he...

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Otter wants 5 percent for state workers

Idaho’s state employees are underpaid, new Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers. “For too long we’ve shorted them on pay and then padded their benefits. To begin changing that, it’s my recommendation that we fully fund a 5 percent merit-based increase in employee compensation.” He said...

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Full plate of issues

The state Legislature convenes its annual session today with a full plate of issues. It’ll all be kicked off at 1 p.m. today (noon Pacific time) with Gov. Butch Otter’s first State of the State message, in which he’ll also unveil his state budget. You...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 5, 2007


Reason to cheer

Major General Larry LaFrenz, adjutant general of the Idaho National Guard, served as master of ceremonies for today’s inaugural. At the end of the program, after inviting the public to a reception in the governor’s office, LaFrenz had his own big applause line: “Thank you...

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.