First came the preliminaries: welcomes, thanks, a nod to Abraham Lincoln for creating the Idaho Territory 150 years ago this year. But then it was time for the money. Governor Butch Otter’s first announcement in his State of the State address Monday was a proposal to raise state spending as a whole by 3.1 percent. That’s based on an estimated 5.3 percent increase in revenue.
A report released today by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy questions whether the state is meeting its constitutional duty to "maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools."
The report is authored by the center's director Mike Ferguson, who was also Idaho's chief economist for 25 years.