Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Idaho Legislature Underway in Boise

Boise--Idaho Governor Butch Otter delivered his annual State of the State address on Monday. The second term governor wants to cut $60 million in income tax cuts, offer a pay raise for state workers, teachers and somehow give students laptops computers.

Otter's speech emphasized that he's more prone to make state budget cuts than adding costly new programs. His proposed income tax cuts greatly out weigh the paltry $5 million initiative to create technology jobs and spur university research.

Otter's proposed $41 million, 3 percent pay bonus for state workers and teachers has strings attatched -- they'll get the cash but only if tax revenues stay on track.

"There's a wide diversity of opinion on how best to target tax relief," Otter said. "But there's also broad consensus on the need to reduce the burden both on our hard-working taxpayers and on those employers who are looking for opportunities to grow our economy while creating careers and livelihoods."

Otter's 2013 budget will spend $2.65 billion in the next fiscal year, 4 percent more than this year when the state is expected to wind up with a roughly $100 million in state coffers till next June.

Lawmakers have at least three months to ponder all of the Governor's proposals before heading home.

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