Recently, as I listened to Gov. Butch Otter once again announce that he would be cutting state government, I wondered what was next. I remember a similarly eerie feeling from the announcement from the year before. At that time, Gov. Otter assured us all that he was acting in the best interest of Idahoans and was doing the “fiscally responsible” thing. At that time, as now, I wasn’t sure which Idahoans he was talking about.
During the previous legislative session, Democratic legislators advocated against cutting vital programs including state police, Medicaid and higher education. At that time, we pointed out, in both the committee process and in floor debate, that doing so would lead to bigger problems and end up costing us more. The strain on these services is proof that we all, especially someone who has been around state government as long as Gov. Otter, should have seen it coming.
Continue reading at The Idaho Stateman.
Yesterday, Ken Roberts, current Idaho State House Majority Caucus Chair announced a long list of current legislators that have endorsed his bid to become the Republican nominee for Idaho’s First Congressional District (CD1). Roberts is currently in a head-to-head match up with political newcomer Vaughn Ward for the right to face first term Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick.
The recently convened State of Idaho Transportation Task Force might as well be called the Transportation Detour. At least that would be more believable (and accurate).
During Idaho’s 2009 Legislative Session Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter pushed hard for increased funding to maintain, preserve, and expand Idaho’s highway and bridges. The funding mechanisms included controversial proposals to increases the fuel use tax (a.k.a. “gas tax”) and registration fees for non-commercial vehicles. Despite spending as much political capital as he could muster, Otter’s plan got into the equivalent of a 105 car pile-up.