David Adler

A.J. Balukoff, 2014 Election, Democrats
Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Tuesday’s elections revealed two political parties headed in different directions in Idaho.

For the GOP, the sweep of statewide races was a step in healing wounds opened during a contentious summer. But Democrats’ optimism gave way to the stark reality that they continue to struggle for competitiveness in one of the reddest states in the country.

Castle Peak, Baker Ranch
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

If Hollywood needed a setting for one of its westerns, this spot along the East Fork of the Salmon River just might be it. In fact, one of Clint Eastwood’s famous westerns, Pale Rider, was shot not too far from here.

For the dwindling number of ranchers who still earn their livings on this land, this valley is nothing like a romanticized western – it’s gritty, year-round work.

The Baker family has lived, and ranched here for more than 125 years.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho voters Tuesday agreed to pay more than $100 million in additional taxes over the next few years when they approved 36 new school district levies. Reliance on supplemental levies to shore up school budgets has increased dramatically since the recession spurred cuts in state funding.  

David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State, says the legislature is increasingly shifting the responsibility to fund education to local homeowners who pay property taxes. He says Tuesday’s levy votes reveal a disconnect between voters and lawmakers.

Boise State University/Andrus Center

Scholars from around the U.S. are in Boise today to talk about the state of the American presidency.  They're taking part in a day-long event at Boise State University to discuss the power of the president, the chief executive’s role in fiscal policy, and bias in the presidential selection process.  
 
David Adler directs the university’s Andrus Center for Public Policy, which organized the conference.  On KBSX's Morning Edition Thursday, Adler said the panelists include some of the most distinguished presidential scholars in the country.  Click below to hear the conversation.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

For the past three days, the presidents of Idaho’s state colleges and universities have stood before lawmakers. They’ve all made the case for why their school should get state money. But that’s been an increasingly tough sell over the years.

This year Idaho’s colleges and universities got a $19 million boost from lawmakers. But after several years of cuts that only brought higher education spending back to 2006 levels. And even in times when schools were getting more money each year, the increases did not keep pace with growth.

Boise State University/Andrus Center

At the Idaho Legislature they call this Education week. The state’s education leaders go before budget writers to make the case for why they should get the money they’ve asked for. For the first few days it’s higher education. Monday morning presidents from Boise State and Idaho State are in the hot seat. So forget cross state sports rivalries, this is true high stakes competition.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix/Boise State Public Radio

Monday Idaho’s 2013 legislative session begins with Governor Butch Otter’s State of the State address. Speaking to reporters Friday Otter hinted at what he might say.

“The state of the state is in pretty good shape,” he said. “It’s in great shape when I compare it to the stories I hear from a lot of my colleagues in the different governors’ organizations that I belong to.”

Otter says he’ll propose a budget that is balanced and sound with no new revenue. But there’s a lot he hasn’t revealed.

http://www.uidaho.edu/

Boise State’s Andrus Center for Public Policy has a new director. David Adler will take the reins of the nonpartisan center in July. Adler has spent the past two years as founding director of the McClure Center for Public Policy at the University of Idaho. Before that he taught political science at Idaho State University.