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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 2011

MONDAY, JAN. 10, 2011

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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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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