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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2014


Snow around the state Capitol on Wednesday (Betsy Russell)

A snowy day at the Statehouse...

There is no truth to the scurrilous rumor being spread that I headed straight to Bogus Basin this morning; no, I’m here at the Capitol, and this is the snowy approach to it this morning, viewed through Capitol Park. It has a bit of the…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 7, 2014

Otter pushes for a new era of dam-building

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter aims to build billions of dollars in new or expanded Idaho dams, to capture more water in his state's drought-stricken southern desert for crops, cities and flushing endangered salmon…

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House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, speaks as House and Senate Democrats give their response to GOP Gov. Butch Otter's State of the State message. (Betsy Russell)

Dems respond to Otter, call for education improvements

House and Senate Democrats, responding today to Gov. Butch Otter’s State of the State message yesterday, pledged to work with majority Republicans, but also outlined sharp differences, especially over funding priorities. “Our budgeting shows our values,” said House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston. “Idaho’s public…

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Otter defends Idaho ed budget after Luna salvo

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's aides defended his proposed $1.34 billion budget for public schools, saying $21 million that's going to teachers for bonuses and professional development this year was never meant to continue…

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MONDAY, JAN. 6, 2014

Fulcher decries Otter's 'tepid leadership'

Senate GOP Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, who's running against fellow Republican Gov. Butch Otter in the primary, released a statement on both video and audio this afternoon, reacting to the governor's State of the State message. Fulcher said the governor's speech to a joint…

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IEA: 'Critical piece of the equation overlooked'

Penni Cyr, president of the Idaho Education Association, is applauding Otter’s “recommitment to public education” in his State of the State message today, and said her organization “readily supports the majority of the goals and initiatives that he has outlined.” But she decried the lack…

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Otter proposes $15 million in water projects

Among the major items proposed in Gov. Butch Otter’s budget for next year: A $15 million, one-time allocation to the state Department of Water Resources for water supply improvement projects around the state. “Being from southern Idaho, I’m encouraged by putting the money back into…

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New $2M wolf control fund 

A new $2 million wolf control fund is among Gov. Butch Otter’s proposals for the coming year. The state funding would be one-time, and legislation would call for the state’s cattle industry and sportsmen also to contribute to the fund. “One form of growth we…

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Otter: No Medicaid expansion for now 

Gov. Butch Otter hasn’t included expanding Medicaid in his budget proposal for the coming year. “On the issue of Medicaid expansion, we should not jump into the deep end without knowing what’s on the bottom,” he told lawmakers. “We must not risk our other priorities…

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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter delivers his State of the State message on Monday (Betsy Russell)

Otter on possible tax cuts…

“I’m sure some will argue that the proposals I’m putting forward today are not bold enough, not front-loaded enough or simply not enough,” the governor told a joint session of the Legislature. “But peaks and valleys are not the best way to manage any enterprise…

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Boosting rainy-day funds...

Idaho would boost its rainy-day savings, under Gov. Butch Otter’s budget proposal, plunking another $35 million into the already capped Budget Stabilization Fund, which now has $135.7 million, and creating a “surplus eliminator” for the current year’s budget to put additional funds into the Public…

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