Huckleberries Online

Otter Upbeat After Years Of Struggle

Former Idaho Gov. Phill Batt acknowledges the applause from in the House Chambers before Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter delivered his State of the State address to a joint session of the Idaho Legislature in the House Chambers at the Idaho Statehouse today in Boise. During the address Otter proposed eliminating personal property tax, unveiled a slightly larger state budget and discussed health care and education plans for the new legislative session. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter took an upbeat tone in his sixth State of the State message to lawmakers today, urging them to start where they all agree and get things done for the state – including his proposal for Idaho to run its own health insurance exchange. You can read my full story here at While proposing no base pay increases for state employees or teachers, and proposing a 3.1 percent spending increase next year though his economists expect 5.3 percent growth, Otter expressed optimism about the state’s economic outlook. “People have been hearing for four years about what we can’t do,” he said after his speech. “Let’s talk about what we can do.” “At least he’s keeping his conservative perspective on increases for the state budget,” said an approving Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens – though Barbieri remains adamantly opposed to a state-based insurance exchange. Said Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, “We’ve got our job cut out for us”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Would you rather have Otter pushing an agenda or simply playing out the string as governor?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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