Monday, January 11, 2010

Just in from the Statehouse

Governor Butch Otter's State of the State Address: Expect Budget and Job Cuts

Boise--In a shinning, refurbished Statehouse Gov. Butch Otter delivered the annual State of the State address to a packed House. The Governor stressed to lawmakers that they shouldn't raise taxes during a time when the state is experiencing falling tax revenues. For the first time in decades, told public schools that they too can expect budget cuts.

"It is not our place to impose an additional economic burden on the people of Idaho who already are struggling or to put a damper on our economic recovery," Otter said.

Governor Otter submitted a budget based flat revenue growth in fiscal 2011 and called on state agencies to cut more than 400 jobs and not filling vacant jobs."We must to whatever we can do to avoid an duplication of effort or any waste of the taxpayers' hard earned dollars," he said.

Otter added that the state will have to take cash from the rainy-day funds sometime during the fiscal year starting July 1 — but cautioned that the state needs to keep money in reserve if the economy doesn't turn around quickly.

Over all, Otter proposed a $40 million cut from all state agencies and operations this fiscal year including 1.6 percent cut in public schools. Lawmakers must approve the hold backs once they're back in session. in addition Otter asked for approval of hold backs he announced back in September that averaged 4 percent.

After the second longest legislative session in 2009, Otter called for an amicable, short legislature and promised to keep his door open to lawmakers.

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