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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2011

MONDAY, JAN. 10, 2011

No relief from cuts for higher ed

"Tough choices and changes have to be made," Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers, including for higher education. "Higher education does have some built-in constituencies that can provide alternatives to a higher level of general fund support," he said. That's not likely what higher education advocates…

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Otter talks about changing gov't 'culture'

A theme that Gov. Butch Otter talked about last week, changing the "culture" of government, has resurfaced in his State of the State message. "Building partnerships. Fostering more cooperation between the public and private sectors. Doing more with less. All that is part of what…

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Otter backs teacher pay-for-performance

Gov. Otter is joining state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna to propose a pay-for-performance system for the state's public school teachers. "Excellence should be rewarded," Otter told lawmakers, "which is why Supt. Luna and I are committed to establishing a pay system for teachers that…

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Gov lauds education network

The Idaho Education Network, a broadband network that links Idaho high schools, is coming in for much praise from Gov. Butch Otter in his State of the State message. Already, he said, school districts are using the network for innovative programs. The Bonneville school district…

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A flat school budget...

School funding, as the largest single piece of the state budget, is a big focus for the state Legislature. Gov. Butch Otter is proposing a budget for public schools for next year that imposes no further cuts, but keeps in place the full $128.5 million…

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'Not time to coerce with more taxes'

Though there's been much talk among lawmakers of the potential for a tax increase to cope with the state's expected huge budget shortfall next year, Gov. Otter said, "I haven't heard one Idahoan say they want their taxes raised. If anyone wants to contribute more…

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Otter wants biz incentives

In one of the few specific legislative proposals he's mentioned thus far, Gov. Butch Otter said, "I will be proposing legislation aimed at providing an incentive for investment and creation of career opportunities, targeting those small and start-up businesses that show great promise for Idaho's…

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Otter: 'Reducing tax burden'

Gov. Otter has specifically singled out Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, saying he's proposing phased-in tax-cutting legislation that Otter thinks lawmakers should "seriously consider." "His bill would equalize and then gradually reduce our marginal state income tax rates for individuals and businesses over ten years, starting…

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Guv address Tax Commish trouble

The governor mentioned the trouble at the state Tax Commission, where his appointee as Tax Commission chairman, Royce Chigbrow, resigned on Friday amid allegations that he interfered in tax cases for the benefit of a friend an of clients of his son's firm. "I have…

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Otter: 'It means stability' 

Otter sounded themes he's been hitting in recent weeks about how to improve the economy - that government isn't the answer. "Along with responsibly balancing our budget, there is no task before us more important than improving Idaho's economy," he said. "That does not mean…

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Guv: State more efficient now

Gov. Otter said, "Our state government today is far better and more efficient than it was two years ago." He said "all our state agencies are continuing to build partnerships, find efficiencies and develop smarter ways of doing their jobs." The governor has been highlighting…

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Otter warns lawmakers: No illusions

The governor had a warning for lawmakers. "No one in this room is under any illusion about the task before us," he said. It could be the kind of legislative session that leaves people wondering why anyone would want to go into politics or public…

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Guv: 'Our work cut out for us'

Gov. Butch Otter told lawmakers, "Your wisdom, patience, judgment and good humor will be crucial in the days to come as we navigate through the difficult process of balancing our state budget in a way that fulfills the proper role of government." He said, "Now…

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House Speaker Lawerence Denney (Betsy Russell)

Speaker promises civility in House

House Speaker Lawerence Denney took a moment after the House convened to convey condolences to the families of those killed and injured in the shootings in Arizona, which he called "a senseless act." Denney said, "As Speaker Boehner said in the U.S. House, an attack…

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The Idaho House convenes on Monday (Betsy Russell)

House convenes, with third sub rep

The Idaho House has convened for the session, as has the Senate. In the House, the formal announcement of substitutes for the opening of the session included the two previously announced - Julie Chadderdon for her mom, Rep. Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d'Alene, and Gayle Batt…

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SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2011

Idaho's state capitol, early on a frosty January morning. State lawmakers will convene their annual session here on Monday, facing difficult budget issues. (Betsy Russell)

The session ahead...

There’s a desperate edge to the talk in Boise as Idaho’s legislative session approaches. “It’s not going to be a fun place to be in the Capitol this year,” said new Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. “We’re probably facing the worst year coming up…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 7, 2011

Otter accepts Chigbrow's resignation 

Gov. Butch Otter just announced that he's accepted the resignation of Royce Chigbrow as chairman of the Idaho State Tax Commission. Here's Otter's statement: “Royce has been my friend and trusted adviser for a number of years. He was kind enough to enter the arena…

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