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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 10, 2011

MONDAY, JAN. 10, 2011

Megaloads opponents file appeal

Opponents of megaloads on U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho have filed an appeal of the state hearing officer's findings and recommendation after a contested case hearing. The appeal, which you can read online here, contends that the hearing officer focused in his findings only…

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Carole and Dick Harwood in the Idaho House. Dick Harwood is in his sixth term; Carole Harwood is serving as a substitute for new Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Kellogg. (Betsy Russell)

Harwoods: New House power couple 

The Idaho Legislature has a new power couple - Dick and Carole Harwood. Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, is a sixth-term District 2 representative. Now his wife Carole is in the House chamber too, filling in for newly elected Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Kellogg, whose husband…

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The governor's budget 

The governor's budget - the dollars and details behind the proposals he outlined today in his State of the State message - uses a variety of steps to cope with what had been expected to be a budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012 as of…

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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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Eye On Boise

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