In This Issue
Inaugural Procession and Ball
Solutions Summit Policy Conference
Spotlight Agency
Recent Appointments
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Coming Up:



January 14

I will speak at Idaho Business for Education Legislative Academy, 8:00 a.m., Lincoln Auditorium-Capitol, Boise


Thursday, January 15

I will Present Energy Efficiency Award to Davisco, 1:15 p.m., Ceremonial Office, Boise


Friday, January 16

I will attend Idaho-Lewis County Capital for a Day, Kamiah Middle School-906 12th Street, Kamiah.

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The State of the State
Governor Otter entertains questions from the media at a press conference immediately following his State of the State address.

On Monday I delivered my 9th State of the State address before a joint session of the Idaho Legislature. I presented a balanced budget that provides a significant increase for education. My budget provides the funding to achieve the ambitious goals of our "K through Career" initiative. We are increasing spending on education in FY 2016 by 7.4% or approximately $60 million more than we did in 2009 before the great recession. It also calls for additional funding for a career ladder and professional development for teachers, as well as more college and career counseling for students in keeping with our goal of at least 60% of Idaho citizens between the ages of 25 and 34 having a post-secondary degree or professional certification by 2020.


I promised that we would restore education funding and this budget puts us another step closer to doing that. In addition to education I am recommending additional funding to invest in more career opportunities for Idahoans which in turn will lead to more economic growth, a total of $8 million in my budget would provide the kinds of critical resources needed for job creation as well as workforce development.  

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On Friday January 9th I was publically sworn-in for the third time as Idaho's 32nd Governor. I was incredibly humbled to be joined by former Governors Jim Risch, Dirk Kempthorne, and Phil Batt for the occasion as well as Idaho's newly elected constitutional officers, all of the state Senators and Representatives, as well as President Pro-Tempore Brent Hill and Speaker of the House Scott Bedke. This was the 47th inauguration ceremony for our great state and I was incredibly honored to be able to stand before Idaho's officers and citizens and swear to uphold my responsibilities. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the historic day.

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Inaugural Procession and Ball

Saturday January 10th was the 47th inaugural procession and ball at the Capitol. This was a great formal event to celebrate the inauguration of all of our states leaders. In the Capitol rotunda we had music, dancing, and great company from all around Idaho to help us celebrate the momentous occasion. Thank you to everyone who joined us in this celebration!

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Solutions Summit Policy Conference

On Tuesday January 6th I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Solutions Summit Policy Conference at the Washington Policy Center in Kennewick, Washington. I took the opportunity to discuss the great divide in Washington D.C. and the dramatic changes we have seen since 2010 throughout the states. I spoke to my belief that Washington D.C. is broken and does not appear to be getting better anytime soon. There is a ruinous federal attitude to not allow people to live within their means and to continue to add more and more to the national debt.  


Despite this attitude many states have and are beginning to pursue fiscally responsible approaches to governing and the mid-term elections provided hope that things are changing for the better in many of those states. Conservative economic principles are resonating with voters. These people are voting more and more with their feet and wallet and are moving to states who embrace less taxes and government. I was incredibly grateful to be invited to speak at this policy conference and share the stage with one of my great friends from my time in congress, Doc Hastings. Thank you to the Washington Policy Center for putting on such a great event and inviting me to share my perspectives.

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Spotlight Agency
Idaho Transportation Department 

Whether it's commuting to and from work, hauling goods, or traveling across our great state chances are that it involved Idaho's transportation infrastructure. The tireless work of our state's stewards of public transportation is imperative to the vitality of all of Idaho, which is why I wanted to take some time to highlight some of the achievements and hard work that Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) does for our state every day.


Ensuring safe and efficient travel is the department's goal and in terms of safety ITD recently reported that for the third time in four years that annual roadway fatalities on our state's highways are fewer than 200. This mark is a goal that we had been unable to achieve for the better part of 60 years! This comes despite the fact that the number of cars on the road and the number of miles traveled have steadily increased. While this is great achievement our state must continue to work hard to move the number of roadway fatalities towards zero deaths. 


ITD has also recently been able to reach a new standard for keeping Idaho's roads safe and clear during winter storms. That mobility measure of good traveling conditions on state highways during winter-storm weather has risen from 28% four years ago to 70% today. Because of this success, 14 states, two Canadian provinces, Sweden, Belgium, and several universities have contacted ITD about the system. The system has won numerous national awards, the most recent being the Alfred E. Johnson award for leadership from AASHTO - the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The award was given to ITD's Dennis Jensen, who spearheaded the program and implemented it statewide.
Dennis Jensen 
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Recent Appointments:


Behavioral Health Planning

Jo Ann Bujarski - Meridian


Comm. On Human Rights

Sheila Olsen - Idaho Falls

Ruthie Johnson - Hayden Lake


Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Heidi Jeffs - Nampa


Director, Dept. of Finance

Gavin Gee - Boise


Director, Juvenile Corrections

Sharon Harrigfeld - Boise


Director, Pardons and Parole

Cassandra Jones - Boise


Early Childhood Coord.

Roger Sherman - Boise


Economic Advisory Council

Mark Young - Idaho Falls


Historical Society

Hope Ann Benedict - Salmon


Lottery Commission

Craig Corbett - Grace


Medal of Honor Commission

Vic McCraw - Meridian


Plumbing Board

Rick Garrett - Boise


Public Works Contractors

Robbie Austin - Blackfoot

Joe Jackson - Boise


Shorthand Reporters Board

Sue Israel - Ketchum


State Historical Pres. Officer

Janet Gallimore - Boise


Transportation Board

Julie DeLorenzo- Boise