From my Sunday column: As Idaho’s legislative session pushes into its home stretch, Gov. Butch Otter has laid out “parameters” on transportation funding, one big issue on which the House and Senate currently are at odds, and said he’d call transportation funding “the going-home bill.” His parameters? 1) “We need to stay out of the general fund.” 2) It must include a “significant step toward revenue needs.” 3) “I’d like to keep it user-pay,” which Otter defined as “registration and gas tax.”
Otter said he’s hoping for a multiple-year solution to Idaho’s $262 million-a-year road and bridge maintenance backlog, just as lawmakers approved a five-year plan to boost teacher pay; he signed that bill into law last week. You can read my full Sunday column here, which also includes the latest crop of legislative limericks, salamander news and the breaking of the labor-budget logjam.