A lot of news came out of the Idaho Capitol this week. In case you missed anything, we bundled our five most viewed stories in one nifty package.
Idaho’s Former Chief Economist Critical of Gov’s Budget Proposal: For 26 years Mike Ferguson was Idaho’s chief economist. He helped craft a lot of state budgets before leaving the job in 2010. He says everyone is in agreement Idaho is in need of economic development, “the problem with using the tax structure to try to promote economic development is it’s a very scattershot kind of approach.”
- Gov. Otter’s Salary Increased 4 Percent from Last Year: The governor’s salary is up 4 percent, but he’s still earning less than 261 state employee. We have the salary data you can scan through. Any guesses on the highest paid state employee? Here’s a hint, he’s earning $1.17 million.
- Governor Otter’s Speech Focuses on Jobs, Education and a Leaner Future: Gov. Butch Otter opened the legislative session with his annual State of the State Address this week. We have a copy of the speech with highlighted passages and additional information.
- Nearly 1,000 Idaho State Employees Laid-Off Since 2007: Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said Idaho will not and has not faced “staggering” state employee layoffs like many other states have during his annual State of the State address delivered Monday. But what does “staggering” mean? Idaho has laid-off 928 people over the last five years. The state’s total workforce has averaged about 24,700 employees during that same time.
- State Health Exchange Advocates Say Jobs Hang in the Balance: It’s a worry that isn’t hard to find, among those who want the state to create its own exchange. Department of Insurance Director Bill Deal has expressed it. And Regence BlueShield’s Shad Priest also doesn’t think Idaho’s insurers can expect to compete in a national exchange.