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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2012

MONDAY, JAN. 9, 2012

Gov. Butch Otter gives his State of the State message (Betsy Russell)

Otter: 'Our new normal'

Gov. Butch Otter says when he first was elected, he had "three broad priorities," and they haven't changed: "Encourage economic opportunity, ensure responsible government, and empower Idahoans to be the architects of their own destiny." He said circumstances, including the economic downturn, have raised the…

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Otter calls for 'Hire One Vet' effort 

Gov. Butch Otter is calling for a "Hire One Vet" effort, echoing the name of his tax-incentive bill last year that was dubbed the "Hire One Act." Though he offered no details, he said it'll be a collaboration of the state departments of Labor, Veterans…

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Otter pays tribute to troops, those lost

The governor is paying tribute to Idaho's military members, including the Idaho National Guard's 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team and the Army Reserve's 391st Engineer Company. He noted those who died in 2011: Nathan Beyers and Nicholas Newby of the 116th; and from other military…

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Gov. Butch Otter is greeted by lawmakers (Betsy Russell)

Otter: 'Sounds promising already'

Gov. Butch Otter was greeted with a standing ovation as he entered the House chamber, shaking hands with lawmakers as he went. House Speaker Lawerence Denney told Otter, "The House and the Senate have both agreed that this will be a very short session." Responded…

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Joint session of the Idaho Legislature, 1/9/12 (Betsy Russell)

Joint session under way...

Senators are now seated in the House chamber, and the joint session is under way; still to arrive are dignitaries including the state's top judges, and Gov. Butch Otter, who will be escorted into the chamber shortly to give his sixth State of the State…

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SUNDAY, JAN. 8, 2012

Gov. Butch Otter is pushing the Idaho Legislature

Big decisions loom in a political year...

In Idaho politics, all eyes will be on Gov. Butch Otter on Monday, as he lays out his agenda and budget proposal to lawmakers for this year's election-year session. Big decisions loom; lawmakers and Otter budgeted so conservatively last year that they’re now sitting on…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 6, 2012

Ron Paul wins Idaho's GOP straw poll 

The Idaho Republican Party's first presidential straw poll tonight was won decisively by Ron Paul, with 173 votes of the 359 GOP members attending and paying $30 to cast a ballot at the party fundraiser at the Riverside Hotel in Boise. Mitt Romney came in…

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Gov. Butch Otter joins University of Idaho President Duane Nellis, Idaho wheat growers and others to celebrate a new $2 million endowment for wheat research. (Betsy Russell)

UI announces new wheat research endowment

The University of Idaho, the Idaho Wheat Commission and Limagrain Cereal Seeds have announced a new $2 million effort to boost wheat research at the university, including two faculty research endowments. The project will allow restoration of five research-related positions in Moscow, Aberdeen and Lewiston…

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Cig tax hike backers revising bill 

A coalition of 25 organizations, from the American Lung Association in Idaho to the Idaho Association of Counties, is backing a $1.25 per pack increase in Idaho's cigarette tax, Heidi Low, coalition spokeswoman, told the Legislature's Health Care Task Force today. "We don't yet have…

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Lawmakers hear latest surplus estimates

The Legislature's joint Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee continues meeting this morning; you can watch live online here. So far today, the panel has heard from Micron Technology, which reported that Micron's 2010 sales revenue came 70 percent from Asia, 21 percent from the…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 5, 2012

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter talks with about 75 reporters at the Capitol building on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 in Boise, Idaho. Gov. Otter shared his thoughts on the upcoming 2012 legislative session which starts Monday.
 (AP / Matt Cilley)

Exchange to be among top legislative issues

Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller on today's clash over a state health insurance exchange, which promises to be among the hottest issues in the Idaho legislative session that starts Monday. Miller reports that Ideological objections to federal health care…

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State board names new communications chief

Idaho's state Board of Education has named Marilyn Whitney its new chief communications and legislative affairs officer, replacing Mark Browning, who left for a position as a vice president at North Idaho College. Whitney was formerly the statewide community outreach coordinator for the Idaho National…

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