Emmett Messenger-Index

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard

Governor cites successes from 2013 legislature

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 4:00 am

Gov. Butch Otter thanked members of the Idaho Legislature for addressing most of his legislative agenda and — more importantly — working through sometimes difficult debate to achieve real results for Idaho citizens.

“The issues were thoroughly discussed and legislators did their level best to represent their constituents and craft reasonable public policy. What they produced was impressive and consistent with my priorities and our shared commitment to responsible, accountable and limited government,” Otter said. “We also have a path forward on several key issues and a firm foundation for more improvements in 2014 and beyond.”

Among the key successes, the Governor counted:

• Creating a state-based health insurance exchange to give Idaho a voice and at least some degree of local control over how one Obamacare requirement is met for our citizens.

• Eliminating the burden of the personal property tax for the majority of Idaho businesses while ensuring local units of government have the means to meet their responsibilities. It’s an important first step toward total elimination of this onerous and burdensome tax.

• Approving a balanced, structurally sound State budget that includes cautious, prudent 3-percent spending growth.

• Improving Idaho’s public schools by increasing K-12 funding and restoring $30 million to keep districts whole following the mid-year removal of financial support for technology and teachers’ professional development. Consensus improvements also were approved, including an open meeting law for contract negotiations, criteria for reductions in force, online posting of budgets and master agreements and reinstatement of the dualcredit program for our most ambitious students.

• Rebranding and providing $3 million for the Opportunity Fund at the Department of Commerce. The expanded and codified fund will enable Commerce to enter into performance-based grant funding agreements with local communities who in turn can enter into agreements with employers for infrastructure support.

• The Leadership in Nuclear Energy (LINE) Commission received a public hearing on its final report and won a vote of confidence from the Legislature for its continuing work to explore and secure economic opportunities associated with the mission and potential of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES).

• Adopting a new State Water Plan, updated for the first time since 1996. It reflects use of the latest technology for better evaluating our needs and the status of our water supplies as well as establishing strategies and milestones for implementing our management policies and evaluating their effectiveness.

• Establishing a process for starting and operating nonprofit rangeland fire protection associations and appropriating $400,000 to help establish at least four more like the one that was formed last summer in Mountain Home. Besides wildfire suppression and property protection, these voluntary groups can preserve habitat to help keep species like sage grouse off the endangered species list.

• Making human trafficking a felony. Conviction of the new felony crime of inducing a minor into prostitution or procuring a minor for prostitution will require violators to register as sex offenders and to forfeit any proceeds gained from or property used to commit the crime.

• Investing in technology, with funding for a new Idaho State Tax Commission computer system that will create greater efficiency and more robust security and replacement of network and security systems at the Department of Administration to enhance security for State agency data and communications.

• Investing in at-risk youth, with approval of both supplemental and fiscal 2014 funding for the Idaho National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe program. Legislation allowing public school support to follow the students also was adopted for the program, which now has a director and is preparing to open in the northern Idaho community of Pierce.

• Resolving a dilemma for Idaho’s technology industry by taking a leadership position on the tax treatment of cloud computing. Legislation was approved defining “software” as a service and creating an open playing field for Idaho’s growing software development industry and businesses that invest in new, custom and cutting-edge technologies.

• Approving legislation honoring Idaho veterans by identifying them on their driver’s license and allowing the DMV to share information with the Division of Veterans Services that will help improve outreach, services and delivery of benefits to qualified veterans.

• Approving “surplus eliminator” legislation allocating any remaining General Fund cash balance at the end of the current fiscal year to the Budget Stabilization Fund.

© 2015 Emmett Messenger-Index. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Unlimited access

The Idaho Press-Tribune allows readers to view only 5 members access articles for free each month. To make sure you have unlimited access to the best local news, purchase a digital subscription. Click here for more information.

Feeling left out?

Don't miss out on breaking news, traffic and weather alerts, great deals, and chances to win great prizes! Get our daily e-newsletter and alerts in your inbox.

First name:

Last name:

Email Address:

  • Discuss
Messenger-Index.com invites you to take part in the community conversation. But those who don't play nice may be uninvited. Don't post comments that are off topic, defamatory, libelous, obscene, racist, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. We may remove any comment for any reason or no reason. We encourage you to report abuse, but the decision to delete is ours. Commenters have no expectation of privacy and may be held accountable for their comments.
Comments are opinions of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Emmett Messenger-Index. Please view our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for further details.

Welcome to the discussion.


Online Messenger

Complete online edition of the daily paper.
Not an Online Messenger subscriber? Join now!

Messenger-Index.com features limited local news stories from our paid printed edition, plus breaking news, expanded coverage, video features and classifieds.
If you want access to the Messenger-Index's printed product, including all the printed news and local advertising for Gem County, then you’ll want to become a VIP member so you can see our online edition.
VIP membership is included with your print subscription for FREE or available online for $16.50 for a full year! Click now to become a VIP member today!

Gem County Chamber of Commerce logo

Supporting our local
Gem County Chamber of Commerce

Search the Hello Emmett phone book
First name:
Last name:
Business name:
Top Ads

Messenger Index photo contest announced

The Messenger Index is looking for your best photos that depict rural life in Gem County for our Rural Life magazine. Winners will get a 1-year subscription to the Messenger Index and their images in the magazine.

Read the section

Diana Baird

Managing Editor

Diana is the managing editor of the Messenger Index

Janet Monti


Janet a reporter at the Messenger Index