Chris Butler / Idaho Statesman
Gov. Otter addressed supporters on election night.
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said today that he expects a difficult legislative session. He spoke at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho’s annual conference. The session will be a hard one, Otter said, “because of the decisions we have to make.”
The governor discussed what’s ahead for state education policy, given that voters resoundingly rejected the package of laws known as Students Come First. He predicted that elements of the failed laws will come back for consideration in 2013.
Gov. Otter also touched on the health insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion decisions that the state now faces, as well as the issue of personal property taxes. “I understand the plight of the counties,” the governor said, while indicating that he supports efforts to cut or phase out the tax. Some local taxing districts rely heavily on personal property tax revenue. Continue Reading
Republican Rep. Mike Simpson has broken party ranks before, as he’s been a supporter of the Simpson-Bowles deficit plan which would both increase revenue and cut spending.
Quoted today in Bloomberg, Simpson said, “It’s pretty obvious Obama won the election, and he promised he was going to raise taxes on the wealthiest. What Republicans said is, ‘We’ve got to have entitlement reform. While it may be an unpalatable trade for both sides”, he said, “There’s enough sane people left to get it done.”
Idaho is one of the youngest states in the country. We’re third youngest, right behind Texas (#2) and Utah (#1). The median age here is 34.6, according to the most recent Census. More than 30 percent of Idaho is made up of people 19 and younger.
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact
More than 33 percent of Idaho's 2013 legislators are new. This week, the freshman have been going through orientation to get ready for the session.
Like most states, the people who make laws and set policy are much older than the general population. Idaho’s median, and average, age of a state legislator is 61. That’s older than the national average, which according to the National Conference of State Legislatures was 56 last year. Continue Reading