Gov. Otter’s State Of The State Speech Sets His Agenda For Idaho Legislature
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter released his budget along with his State of the State speech today. Here are some key points. The full speech is posted below.
- The governor’s budget would increase general fund spending by 3.1 percent in fiscal year 2014. The FY14 budget is $2.78 billion, that’s an $84 million increase over FY13.
- The governor’s budget estimates a 5.27 percent increase in revenue in fiscal year 2014
- The governor’s budget calls for a 2 percent increase in K-12 public school spending, that’s about $25.6 million
- The governor’s budget sets aside $35 million for the state’s rainy day fund. The fund currently has about $23 million, and $25 million will statutorily be added to the fund. This would mean the budget stabilization fund could be up to $83 million by fiscal year 2014.
- The governor plans to reduce unemployment insurance costs to businesses
- The governor is advocating for a repeal of Idaho’s personal property tax, and has set aside $20 million for the cost of transitioning. Idaho’s personal property tax creates about $141 million in annual revenue.
- The governor does not want to expand Medicaid eligibility, as his work group unanimously recommended last year.
- The governor’s budget includes money for five additional WWAMI seats and funding for the Boise VA Medical Center residency program.
- The governor supports a $70 million bond for a new 579-bed mental health facility for the Idaho Department of Correction.
- The governor’s budget does not include pay increases for state employees. It does include $35,200 for pay increases for Idaho military employees.
- The governor’s budget does not include pay increases for public school teachers.