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September 26  

First Lady Lori Otter gives welcoming remarks and is the official starter for the FitOne Half Marathon benefiting St. Luke's Children's Hospital, 7 a.m., Capitol Park, Boise.

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Challenging the Feds over Flawed Sage-grouse Process 

The past week started out with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announcing that an Endangered Species Act listing to protect the greater sage-grouse in 11 western states was "not warranted." That might sound like a great outcome. But the announcement is deceiving. The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service has been rolling out new and more restrictive land-management plans for millions of acres in the West to protect sage-grouse even without an ESA designation. In many ways that's worse than listing the birds because it ignores the government's responsibility to vet such policies with the states and citizens impacted. So the week ended with the Legislature joining me in suing the feds over that flawed process, which threatens livelihoods and the lifestyle that makes Idaho so special.

Read my press release! 
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Cyber Security Task Force Meeting 
On September 16th we held the inaugural meeting of the Idaho Cyber Security Cabinet Task Force. It's made up of representatives from State agencies, and it's chaired by Lieutenant Governor Brad Little.  The first meeting focused on a review of the group's mission, identification of tasks and topics for discussion and action. We've seen the damage caused by cyber-attacks on the national level. Idaho is committed to implementing the best strategies possible to protect our citizens and vital government infrastructure. We've seen a great response to forming the Task Force and industry has stepped up to lend its expertise and share best practices. Representatives from the Idaho National Laboratory, Micron Technology, Wells Fargo, the healthcare community and many other organizations are on board. Their engagement will be invaluable. The goal here is identifying what more Idaho can do to detect vulnerabilities, prevent cyber-attacks, mitigate damages and educate Idahoans about the importance of improving our cyber security in an increasingly complex world.
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Constitution Week

I recently was honored to dedicate an entire week to honoring our most important public document - the United States Constitution. I proclaimed September 17th through the 23rd "Constitution Week in Idaho, thanks to great work by the Idaho Daughters of the American Revolution. The rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution have enabled millions of Americans to live free and with opportunities limited only by their own potential. It is important for all citizens to learn about and appreciate not only what the Constitution says, but also what it means to generations of Americans. I carry a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution just about everywhere I go. And I rely on the Constitution every day to help inform my decisions on public policy issues. My colleagues in the Legislature understand that. It's why they passed a law requiring every elementary and secondary school in Idaho to take a day out of the year to learn about the Constitution's history, importance and application in today's society. Please join me in studying this most essential of our nation's founding documents.
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Hispanic Heritage Month

September was proclaimed as Hispanic Heritage month in Idaho, and I was delighted to join the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Nampa on September 17th to join in the celebration. Since the first time I issued this proclamation as a new Governor in 2007, the number of Idaho citizens of Hispanic descent has grown by seventy thousand people. As the numbers continue to grow it becomes ever more pressing to honor the rich heritage of the Hispanic culture and how essential it has become to Idaho. I want to thank Ivan Castillo - President of the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - for inviting me, and thank you to the Hispanic Cultural Center and Blue Cross of Idaho for sponsoring the event.
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Albion Capital for a Day

Capital for a Day was held in the Cassia County community of Albion this month, and I was delighted to visit this southern Idaho community. The people of Albion and Cassia County are dealing every day with the kind of challenges that define the Idaho way of life - from water rights and energy transmission to the impacts of federal restrictions on the use of our public lands. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to listen to what the citizens of Albion had to say and address their concerns. My thanks go to Mayor Sharon Hardy-Mills for hosting such a great day, and I'm grateful to everyone who came out to visit with us at Capital for a Day - especially Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senator Kelly Anthon. I look forward to continuing this great program as long as I'm your Governor. Stay tuned to see where my Cabinet and I will visit next!

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Boise State University Television Production Interview

I was thrilled to spend about an hour with students from the University Television Productions Department at Boise State University. I was asked to do an interview with them during the 2015 legislative session. Unfortunately my schedule wouldn't permit it back then. But the students were gracious enough to be patient and I did the interview with them this week! Student Anna Silver conducted the interview supported by a great group of other student staffers. The interview will air at a date still to be determined on the production department's YouTube channel as well as on Cable One's channel 95. The video will be posted on their YouTube channel which you can find here.
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Website Update: Red Tape Submission Form
Providing a state government that effectively and efficiently serves the people of Idaho is one of the most important responsibilities of my administration. Sometimes regulations that are overly complex, excessive or conflicting with other requirements will stand in the way of Idaho's economic progress and inadvertently cause a greater burden on our citizens. So I've launched a Red Tape Issue page on my Web site at . If you have an issue involving our State government that's getting buried in red tape, I want to know about it. I'll work to get it addressed as quickly as possible. Please visit my Red Tape Issue submission page for more information, or contact my office if you have any questions.

Visit the Red Tape page!
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First Lady's Focus: Idaho Meth Project's Givin' Meth the Boot
I was honored to speak at the Idaho Meth Project's annual Givin' Meth the Boot event in Idaho Falls on August 28th .  This year, the theme was Boots on the Boardwalk and featured fire dancers, aerial silk artists, stilt walkers, contortionists, steam pots, and both a silent and live auction.  Thanks to the tremendous generosity of sponsors and donors, the Idaho Meth Project raised over $100,000 to help deliver it's important NOT EVEN ONCE message to Idaho teens across our state.  As Board President, I had the pleasure of speaking about the importance of the Meth Project and its successes over its 8 year history here in Idaho.
If you would like to find out how to be involved in the 2016 Boots on the Boardwalk or how to be involved with the Idaho Meth Project, contact Executive Director, Adrean Cavener at
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Spotlight Agency: Northwest Power and Conservation Council
Governor Otter assisting the Northwest Power and Conservation Council relocate Sockeye. 
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council isn't a State agency. But it certainly has an Idaho voice. The Council is a regional regulatory panel that includes two members representing each of the four Northwest states, appoin ted by the governors. Under federal law, the Council develops a regional electric power plan that is implemented by the Bonneville Power Administration or BPA, a federal agency that markets power generated at federal dams - mainly in the Columbia River Basin. That basin includes a large part of Idaho, and the BPA's utility customers include many here in Idaho.
The Council's power planning responsibilities include mitigating the impacts of hydropower on fish and wildlife. The Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program directs more than $250 million per year to such projects as the recently completed, $13.5 million Snake River sockeye salmon hatchery in Springfield. With that facility and others that focus on this endangered species, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and its partners including the Nez Perce and Shoshone Bannock Tribes, and the federal government's NOAA Fisheries agency, are rescuing the iconic and unique Idaho sockeye from near-extinction. Just 20 years ago, the number of adult Snake River sockeye returning to Idaho to spawn dropped to zero at Lower Granite Dam. But because the salmon lifecycle is several years long, a few fish returned over the next couple of years, and from these Idaho and its partners are steadily rebuilding the run. The trend is upward and progress is encouraging. In 2014, 2,200 sockeye were counted crossing Lower Granite Dam on their way to the Stanley Basin to spawn. The long-term goal is to rebuild naturally spawning populations to levels that could support tribal and sport harvest.
Governor Otter's appointees to the Council, Jim Yost of Boise and Bill Booth of Coeur d'Alene, work on behalf of the governor to keep electricity affordable and reliable for the BPA's Idaho customers while protecting and rebuilding Idaho's fish and wildlife.
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Council for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Joelynn Ball - Nampa
Council on Domestic Violence 
Douglas Lee Graves - Boise
Dormitory Housing Comm.--NIC 
John Marcheso - Hayden
Early Childhood Coord. Council 
Catherine Johnson - Emmett
Cindy Brock - Emmett
Economic Advisory Council 
Gina Knudson - Salmon
Forest Products Commission 
Gerry Ikola - McCall
Health Facilities Authority 
Ruth Keeth - Boise
Health Insurance Exchange 
Janice Fulkerson - Meridian
Historical Records Advisory Bd. 
Monte Asche - Pocatello
Erin Stoddart - Moscow
Wendy Scott - Twin Falls
Idaho Fish & Game Commission 
Daniel Blanco - Moscow
Lake Pend Oreille Basin Comm. 
Ford Elsaesser - Priest River
Linda Mitchell - Sagle
Motor Vehicle Dealer Advisory Bd. 
Thomas Robideaux - Sandpoint
Con Paulos - Twin Falls
Potato Commission 
James Hoff - Idaho Falls
Lynn Wilcox - Rexburg
Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors 
Raymond Watkins - Coeur d'Alene
George Wagner - Boise
Dusty Obermayer - Rathdrum
Professional Geologists 
Thomas Mullen - Coeur d'Alene
State Independent Living Council 
Ramona Medicine Horse - Blackfoot
Laurie Lowe - Boise
Suicide Prevention Council 
Heidi Lasser - Boise
Karen Hostetter - Boise
Dieuwke Dizney-Spencer - Boise
Workforce Development Council 
Bradford Cederblom - Rathdrum