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Neither Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter nor First Lady Lori Otter has any public events on their calendars in the coming week.
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Idaho Gives Day
May 5th was the fourth annual Idaho Gives Day in our great state. On May 4th I was joined by the Idaho Nonprofit Center in the Capitol for an official proclamation-signing ceremony to kick off Idaho Gives Day. Thousands of citizens all across Idaho celebrated charitable giving with online contributions through These Idaho nonprofits contribute $3 billion annually in economic activity in our state, not to mention significantly improving the quality of life and sense of community among our citizens. This year Idaho Gives raised over $1 million for 800 great causes. Thank you to everyone who donated to Idaho Gives this year!
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Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Conference

On Tuesday April 26th I traveled to Sun Valley to speak at the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce's annual Leadership Conference. More than 160 business leaders and elected officials joined us for the event, where I spoke about "The Evolution of Idaho Agriculture and its Future." Like any other industry, the strength of agribusiness lies in its ability to innovate and adapt. As we make technological advances we also have to understand how that technology is applied and how it expands and builds our agribusiness industry. I am excited to see Idaho's ag industry growing and gaining more national and international recognition for our business climate, work ethic and innovation. I was happy to share my thoughts on one of Idaho's core industries, and my thanks to everyone who attended the conference.
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Coeur d'Alene Visit
On Wednesday April 27th I traveled to Coeur d'Alene to spend the day meeting with various groups in the community, checking in with local organizations, and celebrating enactment of new laws from the recent legislative session. I was joined throughout the day by Representative Luke Malek. Together we visited Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmeyer, Skyway Elementary School, local firefighters, Kootenai Medical Center and northern Idaho's behavioral health crisis center. 
At Skyway Elementary I met with a fifth-grade class to discuss my responsibilities as Governor of Idaho. I was even able to share some of Miss Lori's "Ida" books with the students. 
Next we traveled to Coeur d'Alene's Foster Ave. Fire Station to celebrate enactment of House Bill 554 with representatives of the Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho. The change to Idaho law strengthens firefighters' ability to make worker's compensation claims as the result of diseases caused by exposure to occupational hazards. 
Our next stop was Kootenai Medical Center, where I toured the facility and spoke to staff about their work. The  main campus at Kootenai Health is located in Coeur d'Alene, and includes a 254-bed community-owned hospital. The hospital is regionally known for its programs in cardiac care, oncology, women's and children's services and behavioral health. It has more than 80 physicians providing primary and specialty care in practice locations across northern Idaho.

Finally we traveled to the Northern Idaho Mental Health Crisis Center, where I got an update about their work. The facility serves clients who are suicidal, suffering from anxiety or depression. It also serves individuals who are in need of housing or shelter and are dealing with substance abuse issues. Since opening in 2014 they have treated about 245 unique cases, many of them involving individuals in their 20s.

It was a great trip to Coeur d'Alene and I appreciate everyone who took time to meet with us throughout such a busy day. Special thanks to Representative Luke Malek for hosting us and joining me for my visit.
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Paris Capital for a Day
On Friday April 29th I traveled to the Bear Lake County town of Paris for Capital for a Day. State leaders, my Cabinet members and I had a great time listening and responding to questions from local folks. Health care, species management, water resources, energy and economic development were high on the agenda for Paris-area residents. I enjoyed the discussion that reflected the sense of community self-reliance that 's shared by people in many of Idaho's small towns. It's what makes them so special and what makes it so important for those of us in State government to come to them and listen to their concerns and hopes for the future. I appreciate everyone who came out to speak with us at the Bear Lake School District office. And thanks to the city of Paris for hosting this month's Capital for a Day.
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Cascadia Rising Public Service Announcement
I recently recorded a public service announcement that will air later this month on TV stations throughout Idaho. It's about an important exercise aimed at testing our readiness to deal with a potential disaster. "Cascadia Rising" is a three-day exercise to see how first-responders in Idaho, Washington and Oregon will deal with a simulated disaster along the Cascadia subduction zone. The drill involves emergency services personnel from the Idaho Bureau of Home Land Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and numerous state and local agencies. The exercise will simulate responses to a massive earthquake and tsunami that would devastate the coastal areas of Washington and Oregon. Idaho also would see a significant impact. As I say in the public-service spot, this type of exercise is an important reminder of the old Boy Scout motto: "Be Prepared." So let's all use this drill as an opportunity to get our own family, work, and community emergency plans in order before it's too late.

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First Lady's Focus: NRA Women's Leadership Forum
Women are an ever-growing critical force of influence and affluence in our nation today. They are the demographic majority in the United States. Women are not only leaders and key decision makers in their homes, but in business, government, educational, community and charitable organizations. Likewise, women own nearly half of all privately held businesses and publicly traded stock and control the majority of family financi al and philanthropic decisions.

An increasing number of these women today own and use firearms and recognize the NRA as an organization that embodies their personal values-an organization that understands the importance of preserving our precious Constitutional freedoms for them, their fa
milies and future generations.
As such, they are more aware of the need to become involved in promoting, protecting and defending their Constitutional rights, particularly the Second Amendment.

Today, the NRA Women's Leadership Forum has grown to become one of the most important and fastest growing networks within the NRA and a vital source of funding.

This year I have the honor of moderating the 2016 summit panel and recruiting its panelists. This year's discussion will be on Second Amendment rights within our individual states. I believe that the NRA Women's Leadership Forum and our nation's first ladies have a unique opportunity to work together to advance our shared values and shape the future of our states and our great nation. The NRA Women's Leadership Forum Summit will be held September 9-11, 2016, at the Ritz-Carlton in McClean, Virginia. The Summit will include a panel and a moderated question and answer session featuring several first ladies of various states.
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Agency Spotlight: Idaho Division of Veterans Services
The Idaho Division of Veterans Services (IDVS) focuses on "Caring for America's Heroes." It is committed to improving the lives of veterans through its four programs, including the Office of Veterans Advocacy, Veterans Education Program, three veterans' homes in Boise, Pocatello and Lewiston, and the Veterans Cemetery. These programs work together in providing our Idaho military men and women with superior advocacy, excellent assistance with benefits and education, enhanced quality of life and long-term care, and respectful interment services in a dignified final resting place.
In 2016, IDVS is embracing and rising to the challenges of serving over 132,000 Idaho veterans spanning four generations and five major wars. IDVS continues to meet these challenges and other unknowns with forward-thinking strategies that include maintaining strong collaboration with other states while working to determine and address the future needs of Idaho's veterans.

IDVS Administrator, Colonel David E. Brasuell, was named the 68th president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs for 2015-2016. NASDVA is comprised of the state directors from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories.
Although each state is unique, with its own programs and resources, IDVS is dedicated to working with other states on national issues to help make a positive difference in the lives of our Idaho veterans.

IDVS continues to support establishment of a forth veterans home in northern Idaho and a second veterans cemetery in eastern Idaho. The team at IDVS has
been diligently researching data and preparing information in order to submit grant applications to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) in 2016. While it may be several years before these operations are approved and constructed, IDVS is working hard on these action plans now so these projects are successfully placed on an official priority list for federal VA funding.

For more information on the services provided by the Idaho Division of Veterans Services, visit or call (208) 780-1300.

We also encourage all veterans to reach out to one of our Veterans Service Officers for assistance in obtaining the benefits they have earned by calling (208) 780-1380.
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Behavioral Health Planning Council
Jen Haddad - Boise
Board of Nursing
Carrie Nutsch - Jerome
Jennifer Hines-Josephson - Rathdrum
Board of Scaling Practices
Trevor Stone - Viola
Building Code Board
Allen Jensen - Blackfoot
Education Commission of the States
Sen. Dean Mortimer - Idaho Falls
EMS Physician Commission
Dr. Kari Peterson - Boise
Health Insurance Exchange Board
Charlene Maher - Eagle
Massage Therapy Board
Debbie Karren - Rigby
Outfitters & Guides Licensing Board
Tom Long - Eagle
Serve Idaho
Mary Jane Miles - Lapwai
Time Sensitive Emergency System
Bradley Huerta - Pocatello