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Eye On Boise

Otter on state worker raises, Obama, Geddes, more…

Among other subjects Gov. Butch Otter addressed in his Q-and-A with the Idaho Press Club this morning:

Otter said he's in discussions with lawmakers about making a switch in priorities in his budget proposal, switching state employee raises or bonuses from being a "surplus-eliminator" that happens only if revenues meet forecasts, to fully including them in the budget - while swapping tax cuts to the "surplus-eliminator" category. That's something many lawmaker are talking about. "We're discussing that - I'm open to the discussion on it," Otter said.

On President Obama's State of the Union speech last night: "It doesn't comport with his actions, so I think it was a great election speech."

On state Tax Commission Chairman Bob Geddes: "There are other things he would like to be considered for, there are other things he is being considered (for). ... I think Bob has met all of my expectations ... (from) when I pleaded with him to take that job." He added, "I would tell you this, Bob Geddes is going to bloom wherever he's planted. He's a good guy, he's a quick study, and he embeds himself in the job. That's what I saw him do in the Senate, that's what I've seen him do out at the Tax Commission.

Otter declined to wade into the current fracas in his own party over redistricting. "This is a short answer - separate but equal," he said. "That is the legislative domain, and I'm not going there."

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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