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Idaho Reports Archive


2012

 

April 6, 2012: "Week 13: A Look Back at the Big Issues" Two brave lawmakers face the pundits for a look back at their best and worst moments, and we explore both sides of the contentious abortion debate and other session highlights.

 

March 30, 2012: "Week Twelve: Sine Die" The session ended on party line votes as Senate Republicans passed a tax cut for the state's top income earners as well as a slate of ethics rules the minority party hadn't seen in advance and didn't agree with after they did. All in all, after 81 days, Gov. Butch Otter got much of what he wanted.

 

March 23, 2012: "Week Eleven: Abortion and Ethics" The conservative Idaho House Republican caucus shocked political observers when it agreed to table - for now - a bill requiring ultrasounds before every abortion. Less surprising, the decision of a Senate ethics committee on a potential conflict of interest. Also, lobbyists react to the 2012 session so far, and we examine how conflicts of interest work in a citizen legislature.

 

March 16, 2012: "Week Ten: Teacher Pay Emerges as a 'Going Home' Issue" House Education chair Rep. Bob Nonini puts the brakes on a Senate bill halting future teacher pay cuts. Also, a heated hearing on new abortion rules. A new Senate ethics investigation. More debates over local control. And a growing feeling in the Statehouse that maybe a March 23rd close was a bit optimistic. We break down the end game.

 

March 9, 2012: "Week Nine: Beginning of the End?" The last budget has been written, and the coming political races have been set: that usually means the Legislature is about two weeks from adjournment. We ask top GOP and Democratic leaders how close we are to the finish. Plus, our pundits take a look this year's elections and the likely changes to next year's Legislature.

 

March 2, 2012: "Week Eight: Retirement Season" Redistricting and the election filing deadline motivate a wave of retirement announcments. Retirees Rep. Dennis Lake (R-Blackfoot) and Rep. Wendy Jaquet (D-Ketchum) reminisce about how the Statehouse has changed. Plus, reporter Aaron Kunz looks at energy issues, and we get philosophical on the Occupy movement.

 

February 24, 2012: "Week 7: Ethics and State Employee Pay Dominate the Week" In a week that saw the surprise resignation of one senator, two lawmakers discuss how Idaho may change its ethics rules. Plus, the debate over state employee pay and a look at state economic development.

 

February 17, 2012: "Week 6: JFAC Sets a Budget Target" Two key committee chairs talk about the needs competing for state dollars, and our pundits handicap which will come out on top. Plus, the start of tax debates and a primer on a much-changed primary system.

 

February 10, 2012: "Week 5: Students, state parks and the pundits' outlook for the primary" We take a close look at a bill designed to allow students to take college courses while still in high school, and another to increase funding for state parks.

 

February 3, 2012: "Week Four: Jobs, jobs, jobs - and the impact of budget cuts" Advocates and opponents of gas drilling in Idaho have competing ideas about how Idaho can boost its economy. Also, JFAC hears testimony on the impact of the recent years of budget cuts, and our pundits react to the death of Micron CEO Steve Appleton.

 

January 27, 2012: "Week Three: Interview with the Gov; Higher Ed Week at the Capitol" It doesn't look good for an Idaho-built health insurance exchange, but the governor hopes his other priorities can survive. Gov. Otter shares his thoughts on the legislative session with Greg Hahn. Plus, Idaho's university presidents talk about how to keep college affordable and effective, while our pundits take on the redistricting fight.

 

January 20, 2012: "Week Two: Health exchanges, Redistricting, and a Camping ban" It didn't take long for things to heat up at the Statehouse. Host Greg Hahn addresses the debate over a state health insurance exchange with some key lobbyists, explores the Idaho economy with a Boise businessman, explains a court decision on redistricting, and discusses drilling rules, Medicaid cuts and Occupy Boise with the pundits.

 

January 13, 2012: "Week One: Opening Moves" Gov. Butch Otter made his pitch, and the Democrats pointed out where they saw flaws. Now, as the 2012 session gets underway, majority Republicans will begin looking over Otter's plans for more tax breaks, new incentives for university research and business development, and more. Lawmakers Sen. Ken Roberts, Sen. Tim Corder, and Rep. Grant Burgoyne guest. Political analyst Jim Weatherby and reporters Betsy Russell, Jessie Bonner, and Bill Roberts provide context.



2011

 

April 29, 2011: "Idaho Schools Supt. Luna defends 'Students Come First'" Supt. Tom Luna maps out the challenging path ahead for implementing his new school reform laws. The State Board of Education and local school boards must put the laws into effect while navigating ballot efforts and a lawsuit aimed at overturning those laws. Also: Gov. Otter sends mixed signals by signing the wolf emergency bill but vetoing the healthcare nullification bill.

 

April 22, 2011: "Redistricting: 'The Most Pure Form of Political Blood Sport'" Idaho currently has 35 legislative districts, clustered around the state's cities and dispersed over vast swaths of land with some of the nation's lowest population density. During the 2011 redistricting process, the lines of many districts will change. Greg Hahn and guests reminisce about past redistricting fights and look ahead to see how new district lines may shape future legislative races and the careers of incumbent lawmakers.

 

April 22, 2011: "Web Extra: Redistricting 101: E. Idaho and Treasure Valley" Over the last 10 years, Idaho had the 4th largest percentage of population growth in the U.S., much of it in the Treasure Valley. Boise State University professor Dr. Gary Moncrief, former Speaker Bruce Newcomb, and 2001 Redistricting Commissioner Tom Stuart discuss which districts and lawmakers could be affected by the decade's population growth during this year's redistricting process.

 

April 22, 2011: "Web Extra: Redistricting 102: N. Idaho and the Magic Valley" Reporter Betsy Russell (Spokesman-Review), former statehouse reporter Ken Miller, and political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby discuss which districts in north Idaho and the Magic Valley have grown and shrunk. They predict which districts and lawmakers will be affected by these population shifts during the 2011 redistricting process.

 

April 15, 2011: "After the Session (1): Otter: "It was a good legislative session"" A number of Idaho papers and pundits said it was the worst legislative session in history. In his review of the 2011 session, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter begged to disagree. Also: Reporters Steve Crump (Twin Falls Times-News) and Corey Taule (Idaho Falls Post Register) provide a southern and eastern Idaho perspective on an updated "Right to Farm" law, bills affecting wind farms, and guns on campus.

 

April 8, 2011: "Week 13: 2011 Legislature Says Sine Die" Historic public participation and testimony before committees, wrenching Medicaid cuts, no tax increases, the GOP's new closed primary, and Supt. Tom Luna's far-reaching education reform were the issues with the most significant impact in 2011. Statehouse reporters Betsy Russell, John Miller and Kevin Richert and political analyst Jim Weatherby look back on a legislative session Senate GOP leader Bart Davis characterized as being full of struggle.

 

April 8, 2011: "Week 13 Web Extra: What Didn't Get Done in the 2011 Session?" Host Greg Hahn and our panel of pundits detail the issues that got voted down or refused a hearing. Tax hikes, or anything smelling like a tax hike (capturing tax from online sales, evaluating exemptions) were off the table. Also: no guns on campus, no major changes to urban renewal, no ban on texting while driving, and no inclusion of gays under anti-discrimination law.

 

April 1, 2011: "Week 12: A "Slowdown Showdown" at the Idaho Statehouse" As Republicans try to wrap up the session, Democrats begin using procedural moves to slow down the pace and make a statement about GOP unwillingness to consider alternatives to budget cuts. In retaliation, GOP lawmakers vote down bills to help special needs kids and promote adoption. Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill guest.

 

April 1, 2011: "Week 12 Web Extra: Redistricting, Medical Marijuana and Limericks" Reporter Vickie Holbrook (Idaho Press-Tribune) discusses the growing power of Canyon County after redistricting. In lieu of an ugly tie, Spokesman-Review reporter Betsy Russell offers several "lame limericks." Dr. Jim Weatherby comments on a hearing held about medical marijuana and the absence of a hearing on raising the cigarette tax.

 

April 1, 2011: "Web Extra: Idaho GOP Leaders Say Recession a Wakeup Call" Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill say lawmakers are as conservative as they've ever been, even with new Tea Party members in their ranks. They acknowledge that the urgency to curb government may wane as the economy improves, but the resolve will remain. And they predict the session will likely go another week.

 

March 25, 2011: "Week 11: Interview with Gov. Otter" Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says K-12 education reform is necessary, he's happy with the direction it's taken so far, and disputes the charge that reform is just a cover for busting the teachers union. In this extensive interview, he also discusses Medicaid budget cuts, his jobs initiative, wolf management, and more.

 

March 25, 2011: "Week 11 Web Extra: Ed reform, Party-line votes, and Internet filters" Reporter Betsy Russell (Spokesman Review) and political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby discuss bills tweaking provisions of the just-passed education reform legislation, the increase in party-line voting in both houses, and the attempt to mandate internet filtering on library computers.

 

March 25, 2011: "Web Extra: Otter Says Guns on Campus Idea Needs More Deliberation" Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says that while "right to carry" areas on college campuses could be enlarged, college presidents need to be able to ensure the safety of not just their enrolled students, but also any visitors to their campuses, especially younger K-12 students.

 

March 18, 2011: "Week 10: Nearing the Final Stretch" After ten weeks, lawmakers may have their first glimmer of the session's end-game. Bills are finally moving that could dictate just how deep lawmakers are willing to cut the state's two biggest budgets: health and welfare and public schools. Senate Majority Caucus Chairman John McGee maps out the path to Sine Die. Also: Members of the minority party reflect on the session so far and outline future Democratic strategy for dealing with the potential fallout over budget cuts.

 

March 18, 2011: "Week 10 Web Extra: Abortion, Hunting Restrictions Proposed" Political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby and reporter Betsy Russell (Spokesman-Review) discuss the possibility of guns on college campuses and legislation that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. John Miller (Associated Press) explains new hunting restrictions proposed by Rep. Mike Moyle.

 

March 18, 2011: "Utility, Residents Urge Slowdown on Wind Energy" Governor Butch Otter has touted Idaho's fast-growing wind energy industry as an economic and environmental boon for Idaho's future. But some Eastern Idaho residents - and Idaho Power officials - are asking the Legislature to say 'slow down.' A NORTHWEST NATURE DESK report by Aaron Kunz.

 

March 11, 2011: "Week 9: A Day in the Life of a Freshman Legislator" Three freshman legislators reflect on their experiences during their first session at the Capitol. Senator Mitch Toryanski (R-Boise), Senator Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum) and Representative Christy Perry (R-Nampa) offer insights about the workload, the information, the pace, and the emotion they've encountered as novice lawmakers so far.

 

March 11, 2011: "Week 9 Web Extra: Referendum vs. Recall on Ed Reforms" Political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby explains why a referendum on the education reform legislation would be more reasonable than recalling Superintendent Luna. Reporters Betsy Russell (Spokesman-Review) and Kevin Richert (Idaho Statesman) discuss legislation that would allow guns on college campuses.

 

March 4, 2011: "Week 8: Classroom Pieces of Ed Reform Plan on Hold" Hundreds of Idaho high school students walked out on their classes to protest Supt. Tom Luna's "Students Come First" reforms. While the teacher pay and contracts pieces of Luna's plan continued their march toward final passage in the House, the bill proposing controversial technology, curriculum and staffing changes remains on hold in the Senate. Senate Education chair John Goedde guests.

 

March 4, 2011: "Week 8 Web Extra: Students Protest School Reform" Reporters Betsy Russell (Spokesman-Review) and Corey Taule (Post Register), along with political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby, discuss how state-wide student protests have affected the progress of Superintendent Tom Luna's schools reform legislation.

 

February 25, 2011: "Week Seven: War Between Republicans and Public Employees" Key parts of Supt. Tom Luna's school reform package - on teacher pay and bargaining rights - are on their way to becoming law after passing the Senate this week. Host Greg Hahn and guests look at Idaho's moves against teachers' contract rights in the context of larger efforts around the country to undermine public employee unions.

 

February 18, 2011: "Week Six: JFAC Sets a Low Budget Target" Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee members Sen. Shawn Keough and Rep. Fred Wood explain the committee's budget target, set Friday, which will result in an additional $57 million in cuts beyond those recommended by Gov. Otter. Also: The Idaho Freedom Foundation rallies against new taxes, and emotions run high after vandalism and verbal threats early in the week.

 

February 18, 2011: "Web Extra: Supt. Luna vs. the Teachers' Union" Reporters Betsy Russell (Spokesman-Review), Jessie Bonner (Associated Press), Clark Corbin (Post Register), and political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby discuss the conflict between Superintendent Luna and the teachers' union, as well as several bills on urban renewal.

 

February 11, 2011: "Week Five: The Public Weighs In on Ed Reform" This week the Senate Education Committee heard hundreds of people testify on Superintendent Tom Luna's plan to reform public schools. Senators Nicole LeFavour and Russ Fulcher discuss the next steps for education reform. Also, Dr. Stephanie Witt from Boise State University shares the results of Idaho's 20th Annual Public Policy Survey.

 

February 11, 2011: "Web Extra: Senate Ed Hearings Dissected" Greg Hahn and panelists - Betsy Russell, Dr. Jim Weatherby, and Kevin Richert - chew over the hearings on education reform that drew hundreds from all over the state.

 

February 4, 2011: "Week Four: A New, Larger Budget Shortfall" Lawmakers have been trying to make sense of this week's newly estimated budget shortfall of $137 million. Sen. Chuck Winder, Rep. Wendy Jaquet and Rep. Scott Bedke guest. Also: ethics charges against Rep. Phil Hart are dismissed.

 

February 4, 2011: "Web Extra: Liquor Sales and Medicaid Cuts" Dr. David Adler (Univ. of Idaho) and Anne Allen (Idaho Business Review) join Betsy Russell and Dr. Jim Weatherby to discuss privatizing liqour sales as well as proposed cuts to Medicaid.

 

January 28, 2011: "Week Three: Higher Ed Presidents Make Their Case" Idaho's university presidents were in Boise this week to talk to a Legislature that has been making higher education less and less of a priority. Also: the public speaks to JFAC about the Health and Welfare budget; the governor announces that Idaho's budget deficit may be five times larger than originally predicted; and GOP members of the House State Affairs Committee voted to print a bill that would nullify federal health reform.

 

January 21, 2011: "Week Two: Looming Medicaid Cuts" House Minority Leader Rep. John Rusche and Health and Welfare chairs Rep. Janice McGeachin and Sen. Patti Anne Lodge discuss major cuts facing the Medicaid budget. Journalists Betsy Russell and Kevin Richert and commentators Jim Weatherby and David Adler chew over education reform and the appointment of Sen. Robert Geddes as the new chair of the Tax Commission.

 

January 14, 2011: "Week One: The Governor's Budget Magic" Gov. Otter revealed his FY 2012 budget, and lawmakers collectively exhaled as the expected fiscal bloodbath was hard to find. Budget chairs Rep. Maxine Bell and Sen. Dean Cameron, reporters Betsy Russell and Dan Popkey, and commentators Dr. Jim Weatherby and Marc Johnson look back at the opening week of the 2011 legislative session.

 

January 14, 2011: "Web Extra: Supt. Luna Proposes Radical Ed Changes" Reporters Dan Popkey and Betsy Russell, and commentators Dr. Jim Weatherby and Marc Johnson analyze Superintendent Luna's education reform proposals.



2010

 

April 30, 2010: "After the Session (4)" First Congressional District candidates Vaughn Ward and Raul Labrador discuss their hotly contested primary race, we preview the upcoming Idaho Debates, and Col. Tim Marsano of the Idaho National Guard discusses the deployment of the 116th Brigade Combat Team.

 

April 23, 2010: "After the Session (3)" This week in Idaho politics: Gov. Otter is hospitalized and released, some states-rights initiatives seek signatures to get on the ballot, the State Board of Education approves a new contract for BSU football coach Petersen, and news breaks that congressional GOP candidate Vaughn Ward's family is being supported by a federal bailout.

 

April 16, 2010: "After the Session (2)" Political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby and reporters Betsy Russell (Spokesman-Review), Kevin Richert (Idaho Statesman), Vickie Holbrook (Idaho Press-Tribune), and Bill Roberts (Idaho Statesman) join host Thanh Tan for a discussion of this week's Tea Party gatherings and other news from Idaho politics.

 

April 9, 2010: "After the Session (1)" Idaho Reports reviews the top stories in Gem state politics this week, including: the State Board of Education votes higher tuition fees for college students; the Department of Health and Welfare closes nine field offices; backlash builds against the attorney general's health care lawsuit; the gubernatorial campaigns kick it up a notch; state revenue numbers show impressive gains; and gas prices hit the three dollar mark.

 

April 2, 2010: "Sine Die Special" The 2010 Idaho Legislature adjourned sine die on Monday. A session that started off being all about the budget ended with renewed frustration toward the federal government. House and Senate leaders review the session with host Thanh Tan. Also, coffee and conversation with our Across the Spectrum panelists; analysis of the session that was in our Below the Dome segment; and a special farewell to retiring lawmakers.

 

March 26, 2010: "Week Eleven" Lawmakers were on the fast track toward adjourning for good this week. Alas, their exit strategy was thwarted by a slew of last-minute hiccups. Host Thanh Tan reviews the week with Senate Majority Caucus Leader Russ Fulcher, Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, House Education Committee Chair Bob Nonini and House Education committee member Rep. Branden Durst. Also, coffee and conversation with our Across the Spectrum panelists; analysis of the week in politics in our Below the Dome segment; and our Public Servant of the Week, Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston.

 

March 19, 2010: "Week Ten" House and Senate leaders discuss what it's going to take for lawmakers to finish a session that's been dominated by budget woes. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, and House Minority Leader John Rusche talk to Thanh Tan about the going-home issues. Also, coffee and conversation with our Across the Spectrum panelists; analysis of the week in politics in our Below the Dome segment; and our Public Servant of the Week, Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins.

 

March 12, 2010: "Week Nine" JFAC co-chairs Rep. Maxine Bell and Sen. Dean Cameron join House Majority Leader Mike Moyle and Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly for a discussion about the controversial Idaho Education Network, the struggle to pass a public education budget, cuts to higher education, and the increased dependence on user fees to sustain the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. Also, coffee and conversation with our Across the Spectrum panelists; analysis of the week in politics in our Below the Dome segment; and our Public Servant of the Week, Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston.

 

March 5, 2010: "Week Eight" State Superintendent Tom Luna, Education Association President Sheri Wood, School Boards Association Executive Director Karen Echeverria, Rep. Wendy Jaquet, and Rep. Fred Wood chew over the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee's proposed cut to public education funding. Also, coffee and conversation with our Across the Spectrum panelists; analysis of the week in politics in our Below the Dome segment; and our Public Servant of the Week, Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise.

 

February 26, 2010: "Week Seven" Host Thanh Tan and 4 legislative leaders discuss differing viewpoints on the proper role of state government as well as increasing tension among lawmakers after the Senate killed a House-led attempt to block a 1% cost-of-living adjustment for 33,000 Idaho PERSI recipients. Also, coffee and conversation with our Across the Spectrum panelists; analysis of the week in politics in our Below the Dome segment; and our Public Servant of the Week, Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett, R-Challis.

 

February 19, 2010: "Week Six" This week, JFAC balanced the budget for the remaining four months of Fiscal Year 2010 by instituting a 7.1% across-the-board cut for all state agencies. Sen. Nicole LeFavour, JFAC Vice-Chair Rep. Darrell Bolz, and Gov. Otter's budget chief, Wayne Hammon discuss how state services and workers may be affected, how lawmakers plan to fill the budget gap for K-12 education, and look ahead to the 2011 budget setting process. Also, coffee and conversation with our Across the Spectrum panelists; analysis of the week in politics in our Below the Dome segment; and our Public Servant of the Week, Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D- Ketchum.

 

February 12, 2010: "Week Five" This week: JFAC's final revenue target and economic development. Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Senate Majority Caucus Chair Russ Fulcher, and House Minority Leader John Rusche discuss what lawmakers are doing to preserve jobs - and how they plan to create new opportunities. Also, coffee and conversation with our Across the Spectrum panelists; analysis of the week in politics in our Below the Dome segment; and our Public Servant of the Week, Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls.

 

February 5, 2010: "Week Four" This week, Idaho Reports gets back to basics, with an explanation of how state lawmakers develop the budget. Three key members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee - co-Chairs Sen. Dean Cameron and Rep. Maxine Bell, along with Democratic JFAC member Rep. Wendy Jaquet - discuss how they'll make tough decisions about cuts to state services and workers.

 

January 29, 2010: "Week Three" This week, Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Luna explains his unconventional strategy for filling a $135 million hole in school funding. Also, "Across the Spectrum Panel" members take on the Democrats' IJOBS proposal; statehouse analysts Betsy Russell, Jim Weatherby and Kevin Richert consider higher education's struggle to find state support; and "Public Servant of the Week" features Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d' Alene.

 

January 22, 2010: "Week Two" This week, Idaho Reports examines the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee's revenue projection and the possibility of a $110 million cut for the remainder of this fiscal year, Health and Welfare's budget woes, and Gov. Otter and Nancy Merrill's press conference announcing a "paradigm shift" in the way the Dept. of Parks and Recreation is operated.

 

January 15, 2010: "Week One" Idaho Reports analyzes Gov. Otter's State of the State and Budget Address, from his proposals for mid-year cuts to public schools to the gradual elimination of several departments and agencies. Guests on the program include: Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, Betsy Russell, Dan Popkey, Dr. Jim Weatherby, and Robb Hicken.

 

January 8, 2010: "2010 Legislative Preview" Idaho Reports previews the upcoming 2010 Legislative session with top lawmakers, reporters, and pundits. Host Thanh Tan discusses possible cuts to public education and the governor's announcement that there will be an additional cut in state spending outlined in his State of the State and Budget Address.



2009

 

May 8, 2009: "Week Seventeen" After 117 days in session, the Idaho Legislature has finally adjourned sine die. This week's wrap-up show features an all-star panel of pundits and politicians dissecting the final days of the political stand-off between Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and the House over transportation funding. Thanh Tan moderates the discussion among Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review, Dan Popkey and Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman, political analyst Jim Weatherby, Keith Allred of The Common Interest, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, House Asst. Majority Leader Scott Bedke, Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly and House Minority Leader John Rusche.

 

May 8, 2009: "After the Show: Week Seventeen" Panelists reflect on the changes lawmakers made to public education this year, the effects of the stimulus package, and the growing political clashes inside the Republican party.

 

May 1, 2009: "Week Sixteen" The House of Representatives left the Senate hanging this week after voting Wednesday night to adjourn sine die. The lawmakers refused to give in to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's demands for a fuel tax increase and $75 million in additional road funds. The Senate continues to stand by the governor's side, so forcing the House to return on Monday. This week's show features insight and commentary from Sen. Assistant Majority Leader Joe Stegner, House Minority Caucus Leader Bill Killen, House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby and Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review.

 

May 1, 2009: "After the Show: Week Sixteen" Panelists Stegner, Killen, Bedke, Weatherby and Russell talk about how the governor may have permanently lost support from lawmakers after last week's veto spree. They also respond to accusations that some members may be hypocritical for wanting road projects in their districts but not wanting to raise taxes to pay for them. The discussion includes spirited debate between Rep. Bedke and his "blood cousin" in the Senate, Sen. Stegner, as they respond to critical editorials about the House's early adjournment.

 

April 24, 2009: "Week Fifteen" Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter wielded his veto stamp 35 times this week, in an all-out effort to convince lawmakers to support HB 96, a bill amended by the Senate to increase the fuel tax by four cents. Lawmakers responded by killing the measure by a vote of 15-55. This week's panel discusses how the vetoes may have backfired, the new road proposals being considered by the House, the potential end game, and the scramble to end the session. Host Thanh Tan is joined by regular contributors Dr. Jim Weatherby and Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review. This week's featured lawmakers are JFAC co-chair Sen. Dean Cameron, House Assistant Minority Leader James Ruchti, and Rep. Cliff Bayer.

 

April 24, 2009: "After the Show: Week Fifteen" Panelists Dr. Jim Weatherby, Betsy Russell, Sen. Dean Cameron, Rep. James Ruchti, and Rep. Cliff Bayer respond to Sen. Cameron's impassioned plea for support of the governor's road priorities, then watch archive footage of former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne vetoing a slew of bills to get his transportation bills passed in 2005 and compare the two governors' approaches. Also: editorials from around the state and the quirky story behind the House "crow."

 

April 17, 2009: "Week Fourteen" Lawmakers are itching to go home, but two issues remain unresolved: transportation funding and the final budget. Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, Senate Transportation Chair John McGee, House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby and Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review join host Thanh Tan for a discussion about the Senate's last-ditch effort to help the governor move his transportation agenda forward. Also: the failure of the liquor license quota bill in the House and the latest agreement on cutting state personnel costs.

 

April 17, 2009: "After the Show: Week Fourteen" The discussion turns to the remaining public education funding bills, the proper role of government in treating cystic fibrosis patients, a controversial bill to allow guns at work, and some perspective on Sen. McGee's attempt to "suck up" to House Transportation Chair JoAn Wood. The lawmakers also respond to increasingly strong criticism over their lengthening stay in the Capitol annex.

 

April 10, 2009: "Week Thirteen" Governor Butch Otter's push for additional road funding hit another bump this week after the House voted against a two cent fuel tax increase. By Friday, lawmakers handed him a small victory by voting to authorize $82 million in highway bonds. The discussion also touches on the controversy over personnel cuts, as JFAC continues to adjust budgets. Host Thanh Tan is joined on set by regular contributors Dr. Jim Weatherby and Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review. Special guests are Rep. Cliff Bayer, House Minority Leader John Rusche, and Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis.

 

April 10, 2009: "After the Show: Week Thirteen" Panel members Dr. Jim Weatherby, Betsy Russell, Rep. Cliff Bayer, House Minority Leader John Rusche, and Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis discuss a liquor license quota bill that is inching its way closer to passage in the House, Speaker Denney's decision to pull his Voter ID bill, how a noteworthy financial disclosure measure is being held "hostage," the passage of a bill to increase Fish and Game fees for non-state residents, and a spirited debate over editorials from around the state.

 

April 3, 2009: "Week Twelve" Gov. Butch Otter and Lt. Gov. Brad Little sit down with Thanh Tan for their first joint interview. The two leaders discuss how their partnership is working out, Little's role in developing relations with the legislative branch, the struggle to pass a substantial road funding bill in the House, the possibility of the Senate amending any fuel tax bills that may come its way, and state employee personnel cuts. Gov. Otter says he now supports a 5% cut, with 3% to be decided by agency directors and 2% to be possibly "triggered" for distribution now or later (if the economy improves).

 

April 3, 2009: "After the Show: Week Twelve" House Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts and House Asst. Minority Leader James Ruchti join Dr. Jim Weatherby, Betsy Russell, and Thanh Tan for analysis of the governor and lieutenant governor's interview. They also discuss the unprecedented passage of a daycare legislation bill headed to the full House, the tragic loss of a senator's spouse, and editorials written by papers across the state about sovereignty, cupcakes, and the possibility of closing Democratic caucus meetings.

 

March 27, 2009: "Week Eleven" This week's show comes on the heels of JFAC's precedent-shattering decision to cut public education funding by $109 million. The panel discusses Superintendent Tom Luna's reaction to the reductions, Democratic anger over a provision in the budget holdback, and House battles over proposals to scrap bus transportation/field trip funding and to freeze teacher salaries. The group also talks about the stalled effort to pass daycare legislation in the House. Host Thanh Tan is joined on set by regular contributors Dr. Jim Weatherby and Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review. Special guests are Senate Assistant Majority Leader Joe Stegner, House Education Chair Bob Nonini, and House Minority Caucus Chair Bill Killen.

 

March 27, 2009: "After the Show: Week Eleven" Is Gov. Otter's patience is wearing thin on transportation issues? Also: a House bill to increase the fuel tax by two cents for one year, JFAC's decision to grant $82 million in bonding authority for Connecting Idaho road projects, the passage of a liquor license bill that would lift the current quota system, and an impending decision on state employee salaries. At the end, the group reacts to an editorial on the governor's performance, and places bets on the session's "going home issues" and sine die dates.

 

March 20, 2009: "Week Ten" Week ten of the Legislature was a crucial one for Gov. Butch Otter's transportation agenda. On Thursday the House dealt a major blow to his proposal to increase the fuel tax to fund road repairs, defeating HB 246 by a decisive vote of 23-47. Despite the loss, the governor says he refuses to give up and is working with lawmakers to push a similar bill in the coming days. For insight into this statewide issue, host Thanh Tan is joined by a panel that includes: Dr. Jim Weatherby, Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review, Senate Transportation Chair John McGee, House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke and House Minority Leader John Rusche.

 

March 20, 2009: "After the Show: Week Ten" Panelists Weatherby, Russell, McGee, Bedke, and Rusche continue their discussion over whether Sen. McGee's bill to let the governor choose the Transportation Department director has any merit . . . and whether the director of ITD should worry about her job. Also: the proposed increase in registration fees, GARVEE's impending troubles, a Senate committee's refusal to pass the House's election consolidation bill, and why the Fish and Game 15% fee increase idea has managed to move forward in these tough times. The lawmakers also tell us whether they are on board with a new bill that may require they disclose their personal incomes to the public for the first time in state history.

 

March 13, 2009: "Week Nine" This week's panel features three of the most knowledgeable individuals on budget issues and the stimulus: JFAC Co-Chairs Sen. Dean Cameron and Rep. Maxine Bell, and Division of Financial Management Administrator Wayne Hammon. The trio joins political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell and host Thanh Tan for a discussion on the governor's new recommendations for stimulus spending, the Democrats' criticism of the plan, differences over how the discretionary portion of the package should be spent, possible state personnel cuts, and the major changes being proposed to public education spending.

 

March 13, 2009: "After the Show: Week Nine" Panelists Cameron, Bell, Hammon, Weatherby and Russell talk about the transportation aspects of the stimulus, where jobs may be created around the state, Rep. Moyle and Rep. Bedke's idea for corporate and individual tax cuts, the feisty "north end" exchange between Sen. Nicole LeFavour and Wayne Hammon in Thursday's JFAC meeting, and critical editorials from around the state regarding Gov. Otter's plan.

 

March 6, 2009: "Week Eight" Gov. Otter's office sorts through over 1,000 requests for stimulus money from public and private entities. Otter says will "hold his nose" and take all the federal money for transportation projects. The Feds delist wolves, again. Also: new unemployment numbers, daycare legislation, the rejection of the governor's bill to raise the tax on rental cars, and controversy over a Tax Commission whistleblower.

 

March 6, 2009: "After the Show: Week Eight" Panelists discuss the possible invasion of Quagga and Zebra mussels, election consolidation, and the debate over whether the state should spend $2 million to conform with federal tax codes. Also, state economist Mike Ferguson talks about the challenges of forecasting the economy in these uncertain times. And Sen. Kelly and Speaker Denney respond to critics that claim lawmakers have worn out their welcome in the capital.

 

February 27, 2009: "Week Seven" Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter offers his latest thoughts on the stimulus money and sets the record straight on whether he will accept Idaho's full share of the package. Also on tap: the failed beer and wine tax bill, and the delay in voting for a fuel tax increase.

 

February 27, 2009: "After the Show: Week Seven" This week's Web Extra begins with a special report on the Micron layoffs from KTVB Reporter Alyson Outen, followed by a discussion of Idaho's unemployment situation and the role of stimulus money in creating jobs. Then, we hear secrets and tidbits from each of the panelists, including revelations of past crushes and a so-called "bat cave" in the Capitol Annex! Finally, panelists Betsy Russell and Dan Popkey answer a lawmaker's pressing question about the press - and receive a compliment from the inimitable Rep. Lenore Barrett (R-Challis).

 

February 20, 2009: "Week Six" The capitol annex was abuzz over the incoming stimulus money and its implications for education and transportation projects, as well its effect on the length of the session. Also on tap: the governor's executive advisory committee, Rep. Steven Thayn's new education resolution, and Sen. Nicole LeFavour's unsuccessful effort to extend the Idaho Human Rights Act's anti-discrimination provisions to protect gender identity and sexual orientation.

 

February 20, 2009: "After the Show: Week Six" Spokesman-Review reporter Betsy Russell calls out Sen. Risch for comments he made about mice and pork in the stimulus package. In addition, the panel continues its discussion on stimulus funds, a proposal to increase beer and wine taxes, and Avista Corp.'s effort to help low-income utility customers. For a change of pace, they answer some questions from lawmakers.

 

February 17, 2009: "Sen. Crapo says stimulus won't solve economic crisis" Sen. Mike Crapo dropped by the Idaho House and Senate on Tuesday (2-17-09). Crapo, who voted against the federal stimulus package, warned lawmakers the package will only lead to more debt for future generations. He also argued that the $787 billion measure doesn't solve the issues underlying the housing or credit crises and that the economy will continue to fail until those issues are addressed.

 

February 13, 2009: "Week Five" Senate Transportation Chair John McGee and House Transportation & Defense Chair JoAn Wood discuss the governor's proposals for a fuel tax increase to fund road projects with host Thanh Tan. Regular panelists Dr. Jim Weatherby and Spokesman-Review writer Betsy Russell are joined by Idaho Statesman Editorial Page Editor Kevin Richert, Rep. James Ruchti (D-Pocatello) and Rep. Ken Roberts (R-Donnelly) to talk about transportation funding as well as proposals to make sweeping changes to teacher contracts and salaries.

 

February 13, 2009: "After the Show: Week Five" Panelists Dr. Jim Weatherby, Spokesman-Review writer Betsy Russell, Idaho Statesman Editorial Page Editor Kevin Richert, Rep. James Ruchti (D-Pocatello) and Rep. Ken Roberts (R-Donnelly) continue the intense debate over education funding. They also discuss the effects of the just-passed federal stimulus package on Idaho's budget-setting process.

 

February 13, 2009: "Gloomy Numbers for JFAC" On Friday morning, JFAC received gloomy news: the state's January revenue figure is $33.1 million below the previously projected number. Idaho Reports brings you the first hour of the committee's hearing, when lawmakers made the gut-wrenching decision to cut the state budget by an additional 2%, for a total of 6% for the current year. Before stimulus dollars are taken into account, K-12 education may have to cut a total of $110 million from its budget.

 

February 10, 2009: "Governor Otter Interview (uncut)" We bring you the full and uncut interview Thanh Tan conducted with Gov. Butch Otter on January 14, 2009. In this version, Otter sheds light on his beliefs on the role of government and personal responsibility. If you want to know how far-or not so far-we've come in this session, check out this discussion.

 

February 6, 2009: "Week Four" Superintendent Tom Luna discusses the challenges he faces presiding over K-12 education amid plummeting tax revenues, unprecedented cuts, and the strong possibility the public school rainy day fund may be depleted by year's end. Sparks fly as panel members - host Thanh Tan, Dr. Jim Weatherby, Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review, Asst. Minority Leader Sen. Elliot Werk and House Education Committee Chair Rep. Bob Nonini - debate Luna's proposals, the use of rainy day funds, the lingering effects of the 2006 sales tax increase, and serious divisions over how to plan for possible stimulus dollars.

 

February 6, 2009: "Supt. Tom Luna Interview" Watch Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna talk about why he believes cutting the budget beyond his current proposals risks student achievement, how districts will have the flexibility to cut teacher pay and hours, the possibility of property tax increases across the state, his skepticism over receiving federal "stimulus" funds, and the strong possibility that the public school rainy day fund may be depleted by year's end. Finally, Luna addresses the rumors he's interested in running for Congress.

 

February 6, 2009: "After the Show: Week Four" Panelists Nonini, Werk, Weatherby and Russell expand their discussion of public education and the growing importance of the Public Education Stabilization Fund. Rep. Nonini offers details on how the House and Senate education committees may shape legislation to support Supt. Luna's agenda. The foursome also debate the opportunities for reforming government presented by the economic crisis, the surprising fall-off in prison inmates, and the latest in the local option tax show-down. Plus, don't miss Sen. Werk and Rep. Nonini wrangle over whether it's necessary to continue funding the Idaho Women's Commission.

 

January 30, 2009: "Week Three" Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) Co-Chairs Senator Dean Cameron and Rep. Maxine Bell discuss the state's economic woes and their approach to the education budget, rainy days funds, and a possible federal stimulus package. Former state representative and JFAC member Margaret Henbest (D-Boise) and State Board of Education Director Mike Rush join host Thanh Tan and regular contributors Dr. Jim Weatherby and Betsy Russell to mull the week's events.

 

January 30, 2009: "After the Show: Week Three" Our panel continues to talk about all the issues we couldn't fit on the air. Henbest, Rush, Weatherby and Russell address changes in the Democratic leadership ranks in the Senate, the words about local option taxes Gov. Butch Otter left out of his State of the State address, major changes to the State Board's responsibilities, Lt. Gov. Brad Little's contradictory views on receiving lobby contributions, Betsy's story of being shut out of a campaign event, former Congressman Bill Sali's comeback, and finally - a "moment of zen," courtesy of Superintendent Tom Luna!

 

January 23, 2009: "Week Two" This week's show features interviews with newly-appointed Lt. Gov. Brad Little, on what the "going home" issues of the session might be; and freshman US lawmakers Sen. Jim Risch and Rep. Walt Minnick, on how the Idaho Legislature should approach the possibility of a federal stimulus package. Host Thanh Tan and her panelists - Lt. Gov. Brad Little, John Miller, Dr. Jim Weatherby, and Betsy Russell - mull the issue of tension in the legislature, the debate over how much of the rainy day funds should be used, and the newly released Idaho Transportation Department Performance audit.

 

January 23, 2009: "After the Show: Week Two" Our panel continues to talk about all the issues we couldn't fit on the air. Lt. Gov. Little offers his thoughts on the ITD audit. On the lighter side, we discuss Sen. Gary Schroeder's "beauty secrets" and Thanh's adventures trying to redeem her purple ticket for a spot at the presidential inaugural ceremony.

 

January 23, 2009: "Sen. Jim Risch Interview" Republican Sen. Jim Risch talks about how he's transitioning to life in the minority party, his thoughts on the federal stimulus package, and Idaho's potential for growth in the energy sector. He also offers an impromptu tour of his temporary office in a mobile unit in the Russell Courtyard. The freshman senator is already gaining a reputation as an "overachiever," according to the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call.

 

January 23, 2009: "Rep. Walt Minnick Interview" Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick talks about his transition from businessman to full-time politician, what it means to be a member of the majority in Congress, and why he believes Gov. Otter is on the right track when it comes to dealing with Idaho's budget shortfall. He also discusses his skepticism about Congress, financial bailouts, and portions of the upcoming stimulus package.

 

January 16, 2009: "Week One" Host Thanh Tan interviews Gov. Butch Otter. Afterwards, Tan and her panelists - Dr. Jim Weatherby, Betsy Russell, and Dan Popkey - discuss the governor's comments and the Legislature's first week in session.

 

January 16, 2009: "After the Show: Week One" Host Thanh Tan and her panelists - Dr. Jim Weatherby, Betsy Russell, and Dan Popkey - discuss budget cuts, statehouse squabbles, a revenue forecast that is even grimmer than the governor's original predictions, and the first march on the capitol by disabled Idahoans and their advocates.



2008

 

April 4, 2008: "Missed opportunities" It's over. For the session's final week, here's what caught our panel's attention: the successful compromise on the business personal property tax, a failed constitutional amendment on bonding authority for local governments, the fight over substance abuse treatment funds, and the fits and starts (mostly fits) over transportation.

 

April 3, 2008: "After the Show, Week 13" "Communication is a two way street": Despite all being members of the same party, good communication (sometimes any at all) among House, Senate, and the Governor seemed in short supply this session.

 

March 28, 2008: "Staredown" The governor accused legislators of "a shortage of vision and political will" for proposing only $68.5 million in transportation funding, rather than the $200 million he had sought. Lawmakers don't want to raise taxes or fees. In the end, roads and drivers may be the losers in this fight.

 

March 28, 2008: "After the Show, Week 12" Gubernatorial temper tantrums and "governing by nasty-gram;" a bill on how names appear on the ballot; and what's ahead in the May primary elections.

 

March 21, 2008: "The Transportation Puzzle" The House authorized another year of GARVEE funding for new road construction (with much grumbling about future debt), but where money for the backlog of road maintenance will come from or whether local communities should be able to raise their own via local option taxes remains uncertain.

 

March 21, 2008: "After the Show, Week 11" Lawmakers passionately debate a bill that would require citizen ballot initiatives to outline their fiscal impact, and a bill to allow liquor sales on election days.

 

March 14, 2008: "Maintenance of current operations" JFAC co-Chairs Rep. Maxine Bell and Sen. Dean Cameron explain the fine art of forecasting the future required when crafting the budget. Sens. Kate Kelly and David Langhorst then join the panelists to provide a Democratic perspective on the session and on issues from local option taxes to the environment.

 

March 14, 2008: "After the Show, Week 10" Sens. Kelly and Langhorst stay after. Most of the talk is about the budget and taxes and who is - or isn't - more deserving of tax relief. But listen also to their take on just how civil and cooperative this year has been in the legislature.

 

March 7, 2008: "March is the time for action" The Governor expressed frustration with legislative inaction on transportation, withdrew his proposal for a $150 vehicle registration fee to fund road and transit improvements, and challenged lawmakers to come up with a specific proposal of their own. Also, the disappearing budget surplus; a debate on global warming; and an agreement on field burning.

 

March 7, 2008: "After the Show, Week 9" Is a March 21 adjournment possible? Money is tight, JFAC is done setting budgets, there aren't a lot of issues that have to be settled this year, and challengers for legislative seats can start filing on March 10th. Consensus: once transportation is solved, the session will end.

 

February 29, 2008: "A "going home" bill?" There was finally movement on transportation. On Tuesday, the Governor unveiled his $150 dollar flat fee vehicle registration plan to fund transportation improvements. The next day, House leaders introduced a different package of bills. Also, a mandatory chain-up law for trucks; tighter eligibility for driver licenses; a new grocery tax proposal; and the iSTARS teacher merit pay plan is killed.

 

February 29, 2008: "After the Show, Week 8" Rep. Lenore Barrett says opposing scholarships for drug-free students is akin to jumping into a live volcano. Panelists Richardson and Kulczyk say they'll jump with her. Also, Speaker Denney settles into his job; and State Board of Ed members get grilled en masse by the Senate Education committee.

 

February 22, 2008: "The Wind has Left the Sails" Knives were out in force, as the joint budget committee began dissecting agency budgets, starting with the State Police and continuing down the line. Among lawmakers, there is still a Basket of Hopes. In that basket are things like a viable transportation budget, local option taxation, health care and substance abuse programs. And the teacher pay plan is not dead. But the name has changed, to "iSTARS Lite."

 

February 22, 2008: "After the Show, Week 7" Styles of leadership can affect the length and effectiveness of a session. Our commentators discuss the lack of contentious issues this session. And the State Board of Education, the Milk Bill, and Larry Craig all come in for some analysis.

 

February 15, 2008: "A Chilling Effect" The joint committee responsible for setting state employee compensation met and chilled the governor's 5% pay raise proposal, lowering it to 3%. Also, the dogfighting bill goes to the governor, and the Senate Education Committee delays confirmation of the State Board of Education president.

 

February 15, 2008: "After the Show, Week 6" Lawmakers have been talking grocery tax relief for over a decade, but might some recent events finally compel action? Also, free market vs. fair chase advocates square off over shooting game farm elk, and Larry Craig gets a letter of reprimand from the U.S. Senate Ethics committee.

 

February 8, 2008: "After the Show, Week 5" Barack Obama's visit to Boise and his landslide win in the Democratic caucuses, fueled by record turnout, suggest Idaho's minority party may be rising from the dead. But will February enthusiasm translate into November votes for Democrats?

 

February 8, 2008: "Winter gloom" The revenue numbers for January are in, and the $36 million shortage confirms many lawmakers' fears about a worsening economy. Now a lot of wish-list budget items may be on hold. Also, water rights adjudication and scrutiny for the State Board of Education.

 

February 1, 2008: "iSTARS Bombshell" An attorney general's opinion on Supt. Luna's teacher pay proposal shows iSTARS to be "unworkable" if not "constitutionally flawed," according to Rep. Tom Trail (R-Moscow). Also, the grocery sales tax, transportation, dogfighting, state employee pay, and election day liquor sales.

 

February 1, 2008: "After the Show, Week 4" When the television show ends, the conversation continues. Week 4: What does it mean to have the oldest legislature in the country? Also, the threat from quagga mussels and a deluge of snow.

 

January 25, 2008: "Clouds on the Horizon" Lawmakers consider ambitious proposals to increase teacher pay, fund new prisons and substance-abuse programs, and repeal the sales tax on groceries. But worries about the economy cause many to wonder if those ambitions need to be reigned in.

 

January 25, 2008: "After the Show, Week 3" When the television show ends, the conversation continues. Week 3: Wolves, donuts, and a heated discussion about anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws.

 

January 18, 2008: "Lowering expectations" Superintendent Tom Luna goes before JFAC to make a case for his education budget, and for his scaled-down but still controversial teacher pay plan. Also, more on transportation, and the House refuses to consider tax exemptions.

 

January 18, 2008: "After the Show, Week 2" When the television show ends, the conversation continues. This week: wolves, closed primaries, election day liquor sales, and more.

 

January 11, 2008: "Rep. Sali Talks To the House" Noting that Congress could learn something from the way the Idaho legislature conducts its business, Congressman Bill Sali (R-1st District) talked about how federal rules and policies on transportation and health care could affect Idaho's initiatives on these issues.

 

January 11, 2008: "Legislature 2008: First week in the books" Idaho Reports panelists look back on the Governor's State of the State speech and debate what the legislature might, or might not, do about funding for transportation and education.

 

January 11, 2008: "After the Show, Week 1" When the television show ends, the conversation continues. This week: dog fighting, winners and losers of the week, prisons and more.

 


 

State of the State Addresses

 

2012 State of the State/State of the Budget (January 9, 2012): Even though there are surplus funds in the state's coffers for the first time in four years, there's little growth in Gov. Otter's proposed budget - nor much desire for future growth. In his annual address to lawmakers, Gov. Butch Otter lays out his plans for the coming year - with an emphasis on education, jobs and the economy. Afterwards, Idaho budget chief Wayne Hammon, and journalists Kevin Richert (Idaho Statesman) and Vickie Holbrook (Idaho Press-Tribune) analyze the Governor's speech. Read the text (PDF).

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2011 State of the State/State of the Budget (January 10, 2011): In his annual address to state lawmakers, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter continued to urge fiscal restraint and no new taxes, admonished the federal government for a rash of ills, from wolf management to health care reform, and called for individuals, families and communities to solve problems in place of government programs. Read the text (PDF).

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2010 State of the State/State of the Budget (January 11, 2010): In his annual address to state lawmakers, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter reiterated his belief in limited government and urged lawmakers to cut state spending by $40 million to balance Idaho's budget for the remainder of the fiscal year. For the first time, public education faces a mid-year funding cut. Otter is also recommending the removal of the Dept. of Parks & Recreation share of the state's general fund and gradually eliminating other departments by 2014, including: the Human Rights Commission, Developmental Disabilities Council, Digital Learning Academy, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Council, Hispanic Commission, Independent Living Council and Idaho Public Television. Read the text (PDF).

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2009 State of the State/State of the Budget (January 12, 2009): Gov. Otter asked the Legislature to approve cuts in nearly every sector of state government. His suggested holdbacks range from 5% for public education and 7.5% for Health & Welfare to nearly 56% for Parks and Recreation. The governor also laid out his plans for generating transportation revenue, including increases in the fuel tax rate, rental car excise taxes, and vehicle registration fees. Read the text (PDF).

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2008 State of the State/State of the Budget (January 7, 2008): Invoking former President Reagan's vision of a "Creative Society," Gov. Butch Otter's blueprint for state government emphasized a variety of education, prevention, and rehabilitation initiatives designed to help individuals make the most of their creative potential and their lives. He also expressed support for local option taxing authority to help pay for roads and bridges, while saying nothing about Supt. Tom Luna's merit-based pay proposal for teachers. Read the text.

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2007 State of the State/State of the Budget (January 8, 2007): Governor Otter delivered a modest but upbeat State of the State and State of the Budget speech to the Legislature Monday. After noting the still-booming Idaho economy, he cautioned, "I am recommending that we neither significantly expand existing programs nor add any major new initiatives that would require a continuing revenue flow."

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Inaugurations

 

Gov. Otter's 2011 Inauguration (January 7, 2011): On a brisk January afternoon, Idaho's constitutional officers — Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Controller Donna Jones, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, and Treasurer Ron Crane — took their respective oaths of office on the steps of the state Capitol building. Following the oaths, Gov. Otter gave a short inaugural address.

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Gov. Otter's 2007 Inauguration (January 5, 2007)

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Underwriting for Idaho Reports provided by The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation