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Eye On Boise 2016 Idaho Legislature archive

THURSDAY, JAN. 14, 2016


Two revenue motions on the floor at EORAC...

Each senator or representative on the Joint Legislative Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee has set his or her own estimate of state tax revenues for the coming year; the median of the committee members’ estimates came in very close to Gov. Butch Otter’s: $3.1963...

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ITD not requesting any increase in state funds next year

The Idaho Transportation Department isn’t requesting any increase in state funds in next year’s budget. Though the governor’s total budget recommendation for ITD reflects a 30.8 percent increase over this year’s original appropriation, the difference is largely the funding increases that lawmakers approved last year...

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Ness: ITD looks to innovation, technology

ITD Director Brian Ness told lawmakers this morning that looking ahead, “The key to maintaining Idaho’s infrastructure is to provide a sound, stable funding source. The key to investing that money wisely is to constantly improve our operations and effectiveness at ITD.” He said in...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13, 2016

Some historical context... 

Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal to increase state funding for public schools next year by 7.9 percent is the biggest percentage increase the third-term governor has proposed for schools since he took office. For context, here are his past proposed school budget increases: Current year (Fiscal...

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'Wage compression' plagues Idaho's state agencies... 

Idaho’s state agencies have been suffering from “wage compression,” Jani Revier, Gov. Butch Otter’s budget director, told lawmakers on the joint Change in Employee Compensation Committee this afternoon; you can listen live here. “Employees have not been progressing through the pay grade, and this has...

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Bill introduced to ban powdered alcohol

With no discussion, the House State Affairs Committee has voted unanimously to introduce the second bill it’s considered this year, a proposal from the state Liquor Division to ban powdered alcohol. That move clears the way for a full hearing on the bill. Jeff Anderson,...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 12, 2016


Carolyn Lukensmeyer, executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona, discusses the civil discourse training Idaho lawmakers are receiving today. (Betsy Z. Russell)

Idaho lawmakers work to be more civil... 

Idaho legislators are undergoing civil discourse training today, working with the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. The institute has worked with 12 other states, but Idaho is the first to schedule a Legislature-wide training session backed by leadership; Maine is...

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MONDAY, JAN. 11, 2016

State Board of Ed endorses Otter's ed proposals

The state Board of Education met today, and voted unanimously to endorse the education budget and initiatives Gov. Butch Otter outlined in his State of the State address this afternoon. Board President Don Soltman said in a statement, “Today, Gov. Otter outlined education initiatives to...

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Otter wants boost for Idaho schools, higher ed

Education dominated Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s 10th State of the State message to lawmakers on Monday, as he laid out an aggressive plan to boost public schools and higher education in Idaho after years of lagging; here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com....

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Keough: Otter's revenue estimate 'realistic' 

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, the new Senate co-chair of the budget-setting Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, is welcoming Gov. Butch Otter’s revenue estimate that underlies his budget proposal for next year. Otter set his revenue projection at 4.9 percent growth in the general fund for fiscal year...

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.