Butch Otter

Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is resting after a total hip replacement surgery. Otter was expected to have his hip resurfaced.

Otter's spokesman Jon Hanian says surgeons discovered the 72-year-old governor's hip had deteriorated too much, and needed to be replaced.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

An annual accounting of Idaho government payroll shows the state last year paid $1.47 billion in salaries, taxes, healthcare and insurance costs.

The annual report from the Idaho Controller’s Office shows more than a third of the state’s 25,033 workers are earning less than $40,000 each year. About 10 percent earn more than $70,000.

Office of Lieutenant Governor Brad Little

Tuesday, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is having surgery to get his left hip resurfaced. From the time Otter goes into the hospital to when he comes out from his anesthesia, Lt. Gov. Brad Little will be Idaho's acting governor.

It's something Little is pretty accustomed to; it happens on a regular basis. Any time the sitting governor is out of the state or incapacitated, the lieutenant governor steps in as the top official, even if it's just for an hour or two.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter will have surgery next week to have his left hip resurfaced — a procedure he underwent on his right hip several years ago.

Otter made the announcement Thursday, telling reporters he would have the surgery on Tuesday and then work the next two or three weeks from home while he recovers.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little will serve as acting governor on Tuesday, while Otter is incapacitated.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Former Idaho Govs. Phil Batt and Cecil Andrus say current Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is turning the state into nuclear waste repository.

The former governors at a Thursday news conference blasted Otter's recently revealed deal with the U.S. Department of Energy to allow 50 spent nuclear fuel rods into the Idaho National Laboratory for research.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

Idaho's Constitutional Defense Fund committee has approved the latest round of legal bills in Idaho's court fight over gay marriage.

The panel — made up of the governor, attorney general, House Speaker and President Pro Tem — unanimously voted to pay roughly $401,000 to the winning side's attorney fees and printing costs. Members then voted 3-1 to pay $55,000 for outside counsel to appeal Idaho's gay marriage case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" says he'll grant a one-time waiver to the U.S. Department of Energy to bring nuclear waste for research into the state if certain conditions are met.

The Post Register reports in a story on Wednesday that Otter in a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says spent fuel rods can enter if the federal agency commits to resolving noncompliance issues from a 1995 agreement.

Idaho Democrats predict more common ground than usual at the state Capitol this year. That’s because Idaho’s minority party leaders say many of the Republican proposals on the table are things Democrats have been pushing -- for years.

Democrats make up only 20 percent of Idaho’s Legislature. House Minority Leader John Rusche says they’re used to their bills not even being printed.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is calling for a moment of silence to remember three Moscow victims killed in a north-central Idaho shooting.

Otter on Tuesday called for the moment of silence at 1 p.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday.

Twenty-nine-year-old John Lee is in custody in Whitman County, Washington.

Authorities say Lee shot and killed three Moscow residents and wounded another man before leading police on a chase that ended in Whitman County.

Laura Flowers

Idaho's governor vowed in his State of the State address Monday to continue the legal fight against gay marriage.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Idaho since October after a federal appeals court threw out the state’s voter-passed ban.

But Gov. Butch Otter said in his annual address he has a responsibility to defend Idaho's constitution.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's State of the State address on Monday put a lot of focus on a 7.4 percent increase in education spending. That's an increase of more than $101 million from the previous fiscal year, and a significant boost since the Great Recession.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is kicking off the 2015 legislative session with his annual State of the State address and budget proposal, where he outlines increased spending for schools, boosting state employee pay, cutting income taxes, and leaving some tough decisions up to the Legislature.

An idea Otter returns to repeatedly in his speech is that "Idaho learns."

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has publicly taken his oath of office as Idaho's chief executive officer.

The Republican governor stood on the steps of the state capitol Friday, along with the six other statewide constitutional officers, to be sworn-in to their recently elected positions.

More than 200 people attended the event, including legislators, Idaho Supreme Court justices and three former Idaho governors.

Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he's going to ask the Idaho Legislature to restore funding for public schools back to pre-recessional levels. 

However, Otter and other legislative leaders noted that there is still no clear consensus regarding the Legislature's other pending issues such as a transportation funding and addressing the state's broken indigent care system.

Otter declined to reveal specifics about his proposed budget outline for the upcoming fiscal year. Instead, he says that information will be revealed during his State of the State address to lawmakers on Monday.

Governor's Office via Twitter

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has taken the oath of office and marked his place in Idaho history as being only the second governor to start three consecutive terms as Idaho's chief executive.

The Republican governor was sworn in during a private ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday.

Only family members and invited guests attended Monday's ceremony. The public inauguration will be held Friday at noon on the steps of the Idaho Capitol where Otter will give his inaugural address. The Inaugural Ball and Processional will be held Jan. 10.

Deborah Ferguson, gay marriage, lawyer
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge has ruled that Idaho must pay more than $400,000 to the lawyers who successfully fought to overturn the state's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale on Friday awarded an amount that is about 10 percent less than what the lawyers requested.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and attorney Christopher Rich argued for an award of little more than $200,000. They said that the six lawyers working on the case took too much time and charged too much in hourly fees.

The lead attorney billed $400 an hour and recorded more than 600 hours.

Butch Otter
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter says the U.S. Supreme Court should wait until it receives arguments from Idaho before deciding a case involving gay marriage in the United States.

In documents filed with the nation's highest court, lawyers for Otter said waiting for Idaho's case would help the Supreme Court resolve "the marriage-litigation wave in all respects."

State of Idaho

A pilot project that could change the way Idahoans get treated during a mental health crisis has opened its doors in eastern Idaho. Officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony in Idaho Falls Monday morning.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter wants to file additional arguments in his attempt to have an 11-judge panel review the three-judge ruling that overturned Idaho's gay marriage ban.

Otter argued in a motion filed Wednesday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that another reply is needed because a separate federal court has since upheld same-sex marriage bans in other states.

An Idaho work group has tweaked its recommendations on expanding Medicaid eligibility in a last-minute effort to make their plan more politically palatable to lawmakers.

Work group facilitator Corey Surber says the 15-member group approved a hybrid model Friday. The group had finalized a proposal to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter back in August. However, lawmakers warned the proposal's blanketed support of Medicaid expansion would fail to even be considered when the Republican-controlled Legislature convenes in January.

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