Butch Otter

Butch Otter
State of Idaho

 

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's office says they are a little behind on conducting interviews for an open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court due to the Republican governor's recent back surgeries.

Justice Daniel Eismann announced earlier this year he will retire from the state's highest court at the end of August. The Idaho Judicial Council has since sent the governor's office four candidates to consider as a replacement, but Otter has not yet been able to make a selection.

Ken Edmunds, Idaho Department of Labor
State of Idaho

Tuesday the head of the Idaho Department of Labor resigned from his job, effective immediately. Ken Edmunds has faced a handful of scandals while at the helm.

sage grouse, wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The Trump Administration plans to change how an iconic western species is managed. The new approach comes after Republican governors lobbied for a review of a plan to protect the greater sage grouse.


Jesse L. Bonner / AP Images

Tuesday, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in favor of Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter’s decision to veto a grocery tax repeal passed by the legislature this spring.

To recap: After the legislative session adjourned, the governor vetoed a bill written to get rid of the grocery tax. In response, a group of lawmakers filed suit against that veto – arguing the governor had made his veto decision too late – after the legal timeframe allowed. But now the court has agreed with the governor, and his veto stands.

Butch Otter, Idaho Governor
Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is back in the hospital after undergoing two back surgeries.

Otter first underwent surgery for a ruptured disc July 7. According to his office, the governor went home the following day but was still experiencing numbness and pain in his back. After more tests, he went through a second surgery last Friday. He briefly went home Saturday but then quickly returned after developing infection symptoms.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

Governor Butch Otter and state Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are threatening to sue the Trump Administration if it doesn’t abolish a holdover policy from former President Obama.

This week, the Idaho leaders joined nine other attorneys general from Republican-led states who want to curtail the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The program protects some undocumented people from deportation who were brought to the country when they were small children.

AJForIdaho.com

Boise businessman and school board member Anthony Joseph "A.J." Balukoff said Thursday he's considering running as a Democrat for governor in 2018.

Balukoff spent more than $3 million of his own funds in a loss to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in 2014. Otter won nearly 54 percent of the vote to less than 39 percent for Balukoff.

Otter has said he won't seek reelection next year.

Balukoff, 71, said he's willing to launch another campaign, but his wife is unsure. He plans on making a final decision this fall.

Rebecca Boone / AP Photo

The Idaho Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday on a case that could decide the future of a 6 percent sales tax on groceries.

The Idaho Legislature passed a bill this year removing the tax. They adjourned and went home. Governor Butch Otter vetoed the bill, 11 days after adjournment. And that’s where the controversy started.

Some GOP lawmakers filed suit, arguing the Idaho Constitution says a governor has ten days to veto a bill after adjournment. But in 1978, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled the governor has ten days, starting when he gets the bill.

AP

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has created a new health care panel for Idaho, and appointed the retiring head of the Health and Welfare Department to lead it.

It’s called the Governor’s Health Care Advisory Panel, or HCAP, and Otter created it last week by executive order. The group’s main job will be to review new federal or state health care initiatives and report to the governor and the Idaho Legislature.

The panel will provide research and guidance on health care policies. Members will also fine-tune the state's strategy for health care policy.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a departmental review of how the greater sage grouse is protected. 

The sage grouse lives in 11 western states, and its habitat spans more than 40 million acres. The bird’s population has declined significantly in recent decades, as natural resource development expanded in some states.

In 2015, the Obama administration decided not to put the bird on the Endangered Species List, in exchange for a habitat-wide approach to preserving the animal. That plan restricts oil, gas and mining development in sage grouse country.

Brad Little, Politics
BradLittleForIdaho.com

If Lt. Gov. Brad Little wins his bid to be Idaho's next governor in 2018, he will be the only candidate to already have hands-on experience with the job.

The two-term Republican has served as acting governor 373 times since taking over the second-in-command position in 2009, according to records requested by The Associated Press.

Idaho Governor's Office

Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced Wednesday he has picked a new head of the state’s Health and Welfare Department.

Otter is appointing Russ Barron to head the agency. Barron is deputy director and a longtime administrator at Health and Welfare.

AP Photo

Last week, Terry Branstad of Iowa stepped down, ending more than 22 years in the Governor’s chair. Yes, we said Iowa, not Idaho, but that means Idaho’s governor moved up on a short list of the longest-serving heads of states.

The website Smart Politics keeps track of just how long top leaders in each state have been in office. Branstad takes the top spot, with 8,169 days as Governor.

Otto Kitsinger / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has appointed Payette County Commissioner Marc Shigeta and Idaho Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz to the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Committee.

Otter announced Thursday that he is accepting applications for three other openings on the recently restructured commission until June 1.

A newly enacted law ensured the commission included the Department of Lands director, three governor-appointed experts and a county commissioner. The commission will officially begin its work on July 1.

Brad Little, Politics
BradLittleForIdaho.com

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he's endorsing Republican Lt. Gov. Brad Little in Idaho's 2018 governor race.

Otter said Tuesday that while the gubernatorial race currently has a several capable candidates, he's always supported Little. Otter appointed Little to serve as his second-in-command in 2009.

 

Otter's announcement is the first high-profile endorsement of the 2018 gubernatorial race. It's roughly one year until the Republican primary election takes place.

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