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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 6, 2011

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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Eye On Boise

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