BOISE, ID – Idaho’s lawmakers are back in Boise for this year’s legislative session. We wanted to find out what people want lawmakers to work on so we sent Scott Ki to talk with people out for lunch near the statehouse.
More than half of the people I talked with had no opinion or didn’t know what state lawmakers were up to just a few blocks away.
“I’m not very informed. . . Ah, I’ve got nothing to say.”
But others, like Boise private school teacher Jess McGinnis, knew exactly what she wants Idaho lawmakers to work on.
Idaho Governor Butch Otter wants to give public schools 31.69 million dollars more next year. That’s a 2.6 percent increase. Now it’s up to lawmakers to determine what the actual amount will be. One of those most responsible for that is Dean Cameron. The Republican co-chairs the legislature’s budget writing committee. Cameron says education is his top priority but…
Dean Cameron “We’re not able to do more than the governors asking for. And it will be a dilemma and a push to do what he’s recommending there.”
BOISE, ID – Some state employees could get a bonus this year, education could get a financial boost, and some Idahoans might get a tax break. That’s if Idaho’s Governor has his way. Butch Otter gave his budget recommendations to the legislature Monday. It’s different in one fundamental way from years past. He recommends a 5 percent across the board
BOISE, ID – 45 million dollars in tax cuts. 60 million tucked away for a rainy day. 41 million for state employee raises. Idaho Governor Butch Otter has unveiled his state budget for fiscal year 2013. We break down the jobs portion of the budget.
BOISE, Id – State of Idaho employees have seen pay cuts, furloughs, even layoffs over the past few years. That’s as the state has cut budgets back during the economic downturn. Since fiscal year 2008, the state workforce has shrunk by more than 19-hundred employees. Idaho Governor Butch Otter said today that the employees who are left, have had to do more with less.
BOISE, Id –For the past few years, Idaho’s Governor has talked about holdbacks, as the economy forced the state to cut funds. This year, Butch Otter is talking about tax cuts which he outlined in his annual address to the legislature today. He wants to set aside 45-million dollars, for what he calls “tax relief,” in 2013.
Butch Otter “I have been discussing the form of that tax relief for some time now, with legislative leaders, business groups, tax experts and our citizens. There remains a wide diversity of opinion on how best to target tax relief.”
BOISE, Id – Idaho Governor Butch Otter wants to tuck some money away for a rainy day. In his State of the State speech today, Otter pointed out that over the economic downturn of the past four years, the state has spent 381-million dollars in Rainy Day funds.
BOISE, Id – Idaho lawmakers will tackle some major issues this session including whether the state should create a health insurance exchange. Under the Affordable Care Act, such an exchange will have to be in place by 2014. The question is whether Idaho would be better off going with a national system or creating a state one. The Idaho Department of Insurance will help craft legislation on a state-based exchange.
Boise, ID – Idaho lawmakers return to the statehouse for the 2012 session. They’ll hear Governor Butch Otter’s priorities in his State of the State address Monday afternoon. Already department leaders have made requests for budget increases and priorities, among them Schools Superintendent Tom Luna. Last year Luna pushed through major changes including mandatory online classes and laptops for high school students, limiting collective bargaining for teachers and instituting pay for performance.
BOISE, ID – A new legislative session begins Monday. Leaders in the Idaho statehouse shared their thoughts on what their key priorities are this year with reporters at an Associated Press preview last week. Scott Ki put together this audio postcard of some of the highlights from Senate and House leadership. We begin with Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, a Republican from Rexburg.