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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2011

FRIDAY, JAN. 7, 2011

Chigbrow resigns from Tax Commission

Idaho State Tax Commission Chairman Royce Chigbrow has resigned. In a hand-delivered resignation letter sent to Gov. Butch Otter, Chigbrow wrote, "Our system of taxation is not perfect, but I tried to do my best on behalf of every Idahoan during my tenure, while treating…

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A color guard marches up the state capitol steps at the close of formal inauguration ceremonies Friday in Boise. (Betsy Russell)

Governor inaugurated, on to session...

Here's a link to my full story at on Gov. Butch Otter's second inauguration today, which came amid hoopla, booming cannons and an A-10 jet flyover on the state Capitol steps. Otter pledged to turn the emergency measures the state has taken to cope…

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Simpson: EPA has 'run amok,' is 'bloated' 

Speaking of the EPA, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, newly named chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, which oversees funding for the EPA, said of the agency: “The EPA is the scariest agency in the federal government, an agency run amok. Its…

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Cannons boom out a 19-gun salute at Friday's inaugural ceremonies in Boise (Betsy Russell)

Otter: 'I've already had my tussle' 

Gov. Butch Otter, who made a point of criticizing the reach and growth of the federal government throughout his inaugural speech today, also made a reference before he began to his own run-ins with the EPA regarding Clean Water Act violations at his ranch in…

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A handful of protesters stood at the back of the crowd for Friday's inaugural ceremony in Boise (Betsy Russell)

Handful of protesters...

A handful of protesters held signs at the back of the crowd at today's inauguration; most of them were family members of Pro-Life, the frequent election candidate who changed his name to the slogan and today held a large sign saying, "Abortion is murder." His…

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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter waves to the crowd after taking the oath of office at Friday's inaugural ceremonies; all state elected constitutional officials took oaths at the ceremony. (Betsy Russell)

Officials sworn in, one sets record

Here, Gov. Butch Otter waves to the crowd after taking the oath of office for his second term. He and all the state constitutional officers took oaths today administered by the chief justice of the Idaho Supreme Court. One of them, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden,…

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The inaugural...

Here, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter are escorted in to today's inaugural festivities on the state Capitol steps. Four former governors are attending the ceremony: former Govs. Risch, Kempthorne, Batt and Andrus.

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The 25th Army Band of the Idaho National Guard plays as final touches are put on the set for Idaho's inaugural festivities at the state capitol on Friday. (Betsy Russell)

Stage set for inauguration today

The stage is set, the 25th Army Band is playing, and a giant American flag has been strung up on the front of the state capitol for today's inaugural festivities. At noon Boise time, Idaho's 46th inauguration will begin. Gov. Butch Otter and all other…

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New ethics complaint targets Rep. Hart 

Yet another ethics complaint has been filed against Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, this one by the write-in candidate who unsuccessfully ran against him in November. Hayden businessman Howard Griffiths, who garnered 25 percent of the vote for his write-in bid, sent in an ethics complaint…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 6, 2011

Members of the Idaho Legislature's Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee hear grim economic statistics; Idaho's outlook is for only modest growth, experts told the panel. (Betsy Russell)

Idaho had 6th-worst job loss in recession 

Bob Fick of the Idaho Department of Labor told the Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee, "Idaho's job loss since the recession began was among the worst nationally and regionally." Idaho ranked sixth nationally for job loss, second only to Nevada in the region. From…

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Economist: Just modest growth

The first presentation to the Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee is from state Division of Financial Management economist Derek Santos, who told the panel, "The good news is the recession is over." The bad new, however, he said, is "the recovery has been slow.…

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Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, center, addresses the AP Legislative Preview in Boise on Thursday; at right is Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot (Betsy Russell)

Idaho hit the lottery jackpot, too 

When an as-yet unnamed person bought a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket in Post Falls, that winner not only hit a $190 million jackpot - he or she triggered a jackpot for the state, too, House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake noted. That's because lottery winnings…

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Big cig tax increase in the works 

House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, will sponsor legislation this year backed by an array of health groups to raise Idaho's cigarette tax by $1.25 a pack. If approved, the increase is expected to bring about a big drop in smoking, particularly among young people…

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Legislative leaders including House Speaker Lawerence Denney, Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill and House Minority Leader John Rusche speak on Thursday. Hidden from view at left is Senate Minority Leader Edgar Malepeai. (Betsy Russell)

Leaders: Tough session ahead

Legislative leaders, who are now addressing reporters at the AP Legislative Preview, say a tough legislative session lies ahead. "If you've got a price tag, we've told our legislators, please leave it in your drawer until a better time," new Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill…

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Gov. Butch Otter speaks at the AP Legislative Preview in Boise (Betsy Russell)

Otter plans same approach in 2nd term

In the second four-year term that he's now beginning, Gov. Butch Otter says he plans no changes in his approach to the job. "The changes that we've made now have to be institutionalized, they have to become the standard operating procedure," he said. "That's going…

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Otter: No comment on Chigbrow 

In his remarks to reporters today at the AP's legislative preview, Gov. Butch Otter answered "no comment" when asked if he's asked his current state Tax Commission chairman, Royce Chigbrow, to resign. Otter also said, in response to a reporter's question, that the state is…

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