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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 7, 2010

THURSDAY, JAN. 7, 2010

This view shows the dome over the Idaho State Senate chambers, newly restored. The Idaho state capitol reopens to the public on Saturday after a two-and-a-half-year renovation. (Betsy Russell)

Ready to reopen...

Idaho's state Capitol has been renovated and shined up, but it still looks pretty much like it always has - except better. It's cleaner and brighter, with more of the natural light it originally was designed to let in. It's bigger, too, with the addition…

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Gov. Butch Otter addresses the media at the AP Legislative Preview, which drew a full house on Thursday morning in Boise. (Betsy Russell)

A newsy morning... 

There's been lots of news this morning, from Gov. Butch Otter's announcement about coming holdbacks on schools to university presidents' dire warnings about the impact of cuts on Idaho's higher education. Meanwhile, the joint Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee continues to meet, taking testimony…

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University of Idaho President Duane Nellis, center, addresses the AP Legislative Preview in Boise. At left is BSU President Bob Kustra; at right is Marty Peterson, special assistant to Nellis. (Betsy Russell)

Wins on field, but trouble in budgets...

University of Idaho President Duane Nellis opened his talk to the AP legislative preview this morning by congratulating BSU President Bob Kustra, who sat next to him, on BSU's Fiesta Bowl win. "I think it's just great for the state of Idaho," he declared, noting…

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Moyle: Tax cut might not be 'doable' this year 

In comments earlier this morning at the AP legislative preview, House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, appeared to back off from a proposal he's put forth to phase in big tax cuts, starting this year, by reducing Idaho's individual and corporate income tax rates. With…

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Dems call for 'tax fairness,' vs. hikes 

The Legislature's minority caucuses aren't calling for a tax increase, Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly said. "There are many, many things we can do to improve our revenue picture without raising taxes," she said. "We have a tax system that has been very, very poorly…

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From left, House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, D-Boise, Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs, and House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, address the press at the AP Legislative Preview in Boise. (Betsy Russell)

'Great to have public back in the process'

Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes noted that at this morning's AP Legislative Preview, the new, spacious hearing room in the Capitol's new underground wings was full to overflowing. "We chose the wrong hearing room," he said, adding that now there are rooms big enough to…

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Gov. Butch Otter answers questions from reporters on Thursday. At left is reporter John Miller of the Associated Press. (Betsy Russell)

Otter favors holdback on schools 

Schools would be hit by any additional holdbacks imposed this year, Gov. Butch Otter said just now in response to questioning from reporters at his news conference this morning. Asked if he supports a proposal GOP legislative leaders put forth in a Dec. 7 letter…

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Next year: 'No-growth budget' 

Gov. Butch Otter said, "On Monday we will be announcing for 2011 a no-growth budget." He noted that even though he's not imposed additional holdbacks on the current year's budget since his September announcement of a 4 percent cut, state agencies have been put on…

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'The percentage is - Monday'

Asked what percentage of holdback, or mid-year budget cut, he's planning to propose for the state's budget, Gov. Butch Otter said, "The percentage is Monday." That's the day he'll make his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature and unveil…

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Eye On Boise

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