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Eye On Boise

Otter on gas well regulation, youth challenge, health exchange, GARVEE

Gov. Butch Otter, responding to questions from reporters at today's AP Legislative Preview, was asked about proposed legislation to ban cities and counties from regulating gas well production. "We do see that as a state resource," he said. "But I don't think we want to ignore nor would I want to ignore the counties' input."

On other topics, he said he supports the National Guard Youth Challenge program proposed for north-central Idaho, but said, "I still want to keep it off the general fund. I think it has the merits. ... I think it has a potential to build partnerships in the business community that will actually generate a successful program. I think it's a great program."

He reiterated his support for a state health insurance exchange, saying he believes it would help provide accessible and affordable insurance for the citizens of Idaho, regardless of national health care reform legislation.

Otter also said there's about $150 million left in Idaho's GARVEE bonding program for highway improvements. "That's something I think we're going to have to have the discussions for," he said. "No question some of those bridges have deteriorated a little faster than their designed life was. ... I think it ought to be considered statewide."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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