READ: Idaho Gov. Otter Gives His 2017 State Of The State Address

Jan 9, 2017

Update, 1:08 p.m.:

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's top priority for Idaho lawmakers is to focus on education in 2017.

Otter announced his short wish list during his annual State of the State address Monday afternoon.

The Republican governor proposed a 4.6 percent increase — roughly a $189 million funding bump — to the state's overall budget. More than 60 percent of that would go toward education, including more funding for teacher salaries and higher education facilities.

However, there was no announcement for a plan to address the state's lack of transportation funding, nor did he give a detailed cut tax proposal. Both topics are expected to be debated by Idaho lawmakers as they spend next few months setting the state's budget.

Instead, Otter said that he is committed to limiting the growth of government but not at the expense of providing essential government services.

Original Post:

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter kicks off the 2017 legislative session with his annual State of the State speech at this hour. At the Associated Press legislative preview last Friday, Otter again highlighted education as his main focus.

He will ask lawmakers for $58 million for the teacher-pay raise program known as the Career Ladder, and also has plans for a Higher Education Task Force to improve higher education graduation rates in Idaho.

More analysis is yet to come. Here's a first look at Otter's speech and his priorities for the legislature.

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