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Coming Up:

Monday, July 25 - I will be traveling to Sandpoint for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Kochava.

Tuesday, July 26 -
I will be speaking at the United Economic Development Association Summer Forum and participating in the state lottery dividend distribution at Vallivue Elementary.

Wednesday, July 27 -
I will be meeting with the Nez Perce Tribe in Lapwai.
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Downey Hosts 88th Capital for a Day
Earlier this month, the great city of Downey and Mayor Dennis Phillips hosted the 88th Idaho Capital for a Day and it was a huge success! State, local and county officials worked all day with residents in the Downey City Hall to address and solve issues. Among the many presentations by my Cabinet, Idaho Department of Commerce Director Megan Ronk focused on opportunities available to Idaho counties for economic development partnerships. 

The residents of the Downey area were tremendous hosts and I was impressed with the work we were able to get done on their behalf. Thank you again to Mayor Dennis Phillips and everyone who make Capital for a Day successful for the citizens of Idaho. 
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Megan Ronk, Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, addresses attendees at Downey's Capital for a Day about economic development partnerships.

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Governor, Lt. Governor Tour Pioneer Fire 

On August 17th, I had the opportunity to participate in aerial and base camp tours of the North and South Zone of the Pioneer fire.  These tours were a testament to the professionalism, precision and attention to safety and detail that all of the coordinating departments and agencies work with on a day-to-day basis. Brook Chadwick in the North Zone and Mike Wilkins in the South Zone are leading by example and taking care of business to contain the largest wildfire in the nation, keeping critical watershed, structures and the public safe. Thank you to Lt. Governor Brad Little for joining me and a very special thank you to the outstanding work of our firefighters, their commanders and everyone putting their lives on the line

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Idaho Youth Robotics Week
Idaho Youth Robotics Week was August 7 - 13. During that week, I made efforts to highlight the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. I was proud to join all of the accomplished STEM students and their  teachers, mentors and parents on August 11th in the Capitol Rotunda to proclaim Idaho Youth Robotics Week.   

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3rd Annual Intermountain Energy Summit in Idaho Falls

On August 10th, I joined Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper, the Idaho National Laboratory and many other energy stakeholders for the Intermountain Energy Summit where I discussed the need for clean, predictable nuclear energy for Idaho and the Nation.     

Many thanks to Mayor Casper for hosting us and putting on such a successful event! 
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Boise Named 2nd Fastest Growing Construction Market in the Nation

In early August, The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) released data confirming that Boise is the 2nd fastest growing construction market in the nation. I have advocated an all-hands-on-deck approach involving the state Commerce Department, AGC and many others and it has paid off for our community. Thanks to great projects like the Broadway Bridge Project, Boise's construction industry will continue leading the nation and provide Idahoans with world-class buildings and infrastructure.  
First Lady's Focus: Back To School!

August means back to school! As an educator, I know how important it is for kids to be geared up adequately for the year. This year, Children's Home Society of Idaho is having a school supply drive to help prepare their clients for the new school year.
Children's Home Society of Idaho is a nonprofit organization committed to counseling children and family members to help them succeed educationally. Their center, Warm Springs Counseling Center (WSCC) counsels large numbers of families every year and sets themselves apart from other counseling centers by helping even those who cannot pay. WSCC feels the best investment you can make is in our most valuable community resource - children.
If you or anyone you know would consider donating to their cause please reference the list below. Donations can be dropped off at either their Warm Springs or Meridian Offices.
School Supply List - New Items Only Please
  • #2 lead pencils (packages of 12 or more)
  • Boxes of crayons (24 per box or fewer)
  • White school glue, 8oz or 4oz (orange cap recommended)
  • Large pink erasers
  • Rulers (12" with metric scale)
  • Spiral or wireless notebooks, 70-100 pages, college and wide-ruled needed
  • Large packages of 3-holed college and wide-ruled paper
  • Quality pointed scissors (Fiskar-type recommended)
  • Boxes of colored pencils
  • Red pens or pencils for correcting
  • Folders with pockets
  • Water-based felt markers
  • P cases, backpacks, and other fun/colorful items to jazz up the school year
Children's Home Society of Idaho - Thank you for your dedication to our community and children's education!

Also, Zions Bank Community Magazine highlighted Idaho Women in Leadership.  To read the article, click here: 
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Agency Spotlight: Idaho Transportation Department

Why is transportation important to Idaho?  The state transportation system is inextricably woven into the fabric of Idaho life. The state's citizens use Idaho's transportation system to get to work, school, friends and recreation.

They also rely on that system to bring goods to their stores, services to their doorstep, and to make sure the state's goods and services are delivered to the customers of the nation and the world. From the food they eat, to the letters they read, to the movies they drive to, Idahoans are empowered by transportation in complex and substantial ways. Idaho's leaders and transportation officials understand the essential role transportation plays as a cornerstone for the state's economic and social health. The transportation department's mandate is to provide the people of Idaho with a transportation system that includes various means of travel.

Highways are a driving force in state's economy  
Idaho's transportation system is the backbone of the state's economy. Safe and efficient roads, bridges, airports, railroads and ports promote the expansion of Idaho's economy. The cost of doing business is affected by how well goods and people can be moved across town, across the country and around the world. Thus, Idaho's economic performance is tied to the quality of our transportation system.

Air travel provides a vital economic link
The aviation industry provides jobs either directly or indirectly through the state's airports or tourism from the money that visitors bring into the state. Together, this generates $1.3 billion in aviation-related economic impact to Idaho and provides more than 24,000 jobs. Another nearly 27,000 jobs in the state are in some way dependent upon aviation. Idaho's airports also help protect lives and property in the state by providing a base for fire fighting activities.

Investing the 2015 Revenue Increase
The 2015 Idaho Legislature increased user fees, providing ITD with around $58 million annually to fund pavement preservation, bridge repair and bridge replacement projects. The department had 27 projects ready for bid less than three months after the funding increased was signed by Governor Otter. The department also received around $54 million in general fund surplus and had another 17 projects ready to bid by February 2016. Visit to see a complete list of all the projects and their status.
Innovate ITD
ITD has adopted an innovative solution to everyday problems that arise when maintaining Idaho's transportation system. The results are 114 ideas for improvement implemented statewide, saving taxpayers more than $700,000 in savings over the first 18 months of the program. "Innovation is the most constructive way to change and get better. We do not reject ideas. Rather, we empower employees to look for innovation in all we do from basic, yet effective, process improvements to the most creative ideas," said ITD Director Brian Ness.
Doing More With Less
ITD has reduced its workforce by 155 positions since 2010, generating nearly 46.1 million in salary savings which has been reinvested into employees and spent on road and bridge projects. While the employee count is down, employees are more satisfied with their jobs and performance measures have measurably increased. See the ITD performance measurement dashboard .
Horizontal Career Paths
ITD Developed and implemented a compensation policy that allows pay levels for maintenance operators to be based on performance, training, experience and skill. This program is the first of its kinds for a state agency in Idaho. ITD maintenance operators have increased the percent of time highways are clear of snow and Ice during storms from 28 percent in 2010 to 76 percent in 2016.
Other Accomplishments
ITD won 53 national, state and regional awards in 2015, including the department's seventh AASHTO President's Award since 2013... In 2014, Idaho had 11 percent fewer highway fatalities than in 2010, despite a 3.8 percent increase in miles traveled annually...
The Weigh-in-Motion system ITD installed on I-90 in Coeur d' Alene cost approximately $1.5M to install. It is estimated to save the trucking industry over $1 million per year in time and fuel.

To view the ITD website, click here
Beef Council               
Lou Murgoitio                           Boise

Blind & Visually Disabled Commission           
Sue Walker                              Boise

Bond Bank Authority  
Len Crosby                              Post Falls

Children's Trust Fund Board
Jeannette Pinkham                   Lapwai

Criminal Justice Commission 
Eric Fredericksen                     Meridian

Damage Prevention Board
Vaughn Rasmussen                  Georgetown
Mark VanSlyke                         Eagle

Dentistry Board        
Lisa Penny                                Nampa

Environmental Quality Board
Beth Elroy                                Meridian

Factory Built Structures         
Markus Alley                            Eagle
Michael Hampton                     Boise
Spencer McLean                      Boise

Health Quality Planning Commission
Dr. Rhonda Beale                      Eagle
Dr. Richard Rainey                    Boise
Margaret Henbest                     Boise
Dr. David Pate                          Boise
Casey Meza                             Coeur d'Alene

Housing & Finance Association           
Darlene Bramon                      Eagle

Medal of Honor Commission 
Victor McCraw                          Boise
Bart May                                  Dubois
Jeff Lavey                                Meridian
Atty. Gen. Lawrence Wasden    Nampa
Bryan Taylor                            Caldwell

Morticians Board       
Jim Sommer                            Twin Falls

Motor Vehicle Dealer Advisory Board          
Scott Reynolds                          Sandpoint
Stafford Smith                          Idaho Falls
Tim Sexton                               Idaho Falls

Oil & Gas Commission
Marg Chipman                           Weiser

Oilseed Commission
Steven Riggers                           Craigmont

Parks & Recreation Commission       
Michael Boren                             Boise

Kirk Sullivan                             Meridian

Plumbing Board         
Matt Gardner                           Pocatello
Debra Oberhofer                      Coeur d'Alene

Professional Engineers & land Surveyors      
John Tomkinson                       Star

Psychologist Examiners Board           
Dr. Jason Gage                         Boise

Public Charter School Commission    
Sherrilynn Bair                          Firth
Brian Scigliano                          Boise

Public Safety Communications Commission 
Bruce Bowler                           Rexburg

State Independent Living Council      
Rick Lee Huber                         Rupert

Wolf Depredation Control Board      
Anthony McDermott                Sagle
Richard Savage                      Hamer

Workforce Development Council      
Mark Holubar                          Idaho Falls
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