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First Lady Lori Otter speaks at a Celebration of Teaching event, 6 p.m., Stueckle Sky Center, Boise State University, Boise.


I join the Professional Firefighters of Idaho in a ceremony marking enactment of House Bill 554, changing Idaho's workers compensation law to provide a rebuttable presumption of coverage for individuals with occupational diseases associated with firefighting, 11:45 a.m., Coeur d'Alene Fire Department, 320 E. Foster Ave., Coeur d'Alene.


First Lady Lori Otter and I participate in Capital for a Day activities, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Bear Lake School District Office, 39 Fielding Rd., Paris.

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Idaho Air National Guard 124th Fighter Wing Deploys to the Middle East

On Tuesday April 12th I traveled to Gown Field to wish farewell and safe travels to the deploying Idaho Air National Guard personnel. More than 500 Airmen from the Idaho Air National Guard's 124th Fighter Wing are deploying in support of combat operations in the Middle East. It is the 124th Fighter Wing's first major deployment in support of U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve. The mission includes multiple aircraft, pilots, maintenance technicians, medical personnel, security forces and support staff. Typical deployments will last 180 days, with multiple departures spread out over the next several months. This deployment highlights the dedication of the 124th Fighter Wing and its members, as well as the families, state and local leaders, neighbors and employers who have demonstrated once again their strong, unwavering support for Idaho's service members. The impact on the community is recognized and their sacrifice is deeply appreciated. Virtually all units within the 124th Fighter Wing will provide personnel and/or equipment during these combat rotations. I am proud and grateful to every single man and woman who is deploying to defend our communities, our state and our nation. I wish them all a successful mission and a safe return home.
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Celebration of SB 1407 and the new State History Museum

On Wednesday April 20th I held a ceremony in my office celebrating the enactment of Senate Bill 1407, the budget appropriation for the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS). This appropriation is significant due to the inclusion of new funding for the Idaho State History Museum. With the efforts of ISHS we hope to match the $4 million dollars appropriated with this bill for the museum with $4 million of private donations from companies, interest groups and individuals across Idaho. This event was our first chance to recognize the great fundraising efforts accomplished so far and to spread awareness as they prepare to expand their public fundraising efforts this summer. In attendance for the event were individuals from organizations across Idaho that already made considerable donations to this project. These individuals included representatives from Zions Bank, The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, Idaho Forest Group and the Harry W. Morrison Foundation. Thank you to everyone who joined us for this event and thank you to those that donated to this great project.
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HB 538 State Procurement Law Ceremony
On Wednesday April 13th I held a ceremony celebrating the signature of House Bill 538 into law. This bill was unanimously recommended by the members of the 2015-2016 Purchasing Laws Interim Committee as a means to modernize and clarify existing laws and Idaho Code. This legislation replaces the existing term "purchasing" with "procurement" and requires training for all state officers with procurement-related duties. Finally a new ethics statute is included to clearly state the ethical standards expected of everyone involved in the state procurement process. I appreciate the work done by everyone to help clarify this section of code and want to thank everyone who was involved in bringing this legislation through from inception to signature.
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First Lady's Focus: World Autism Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day, observed on April 2, was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health priority. Every year on World Autism Awareness Day, Autism Speaks celebrates its international "Light It Up Blue" campaign. Thousands of iconic landmarks, skyscrapers, schools, businesses and homes across the globe unite by shining bright blue lights in honor of the millions of individuals and families affected by autism. Individuals everywhere wear blue in honor of our community.

The Idaho State Capitol participated in "Light It Up Blue" along with 20,000 other buildings worldwide. We are honored to take part in the annual observance of Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness Day. I hope that it will lead to a better understanding of the disorder and increase knowledge of the programs that have been and are being developed to support individuals with autism and their families.

If you would like to know more about World Autism Awareness Day or donate to this cause, please visit: 
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Agency Spotlight: Idaho State Police
Resident Troopers: Idaho State Police Community Policing
Well before the Idaho State Police was known by its current name, there were patrolmen stationed in remote areas of Idaho serving the public. Walter Rowlett used his own 1930 Model A Ford to patrol the roadway around McCall making the area safe for travel and living. The program that places troopers in sometimes hard to get to areas is the Resident Trooper Program. ISP will continue to use this model as a community policing best practice for the foreseeable future.
McCall Patrolman Walter Rowlett
Resident Troopers do not always travel to the more urban areas where ISP's district offices are located during their patrol shift, rather they cover the winding state highways and dirt roads that some might consider out of the way. Resident Troopers are woven into the fabric of the communities they serve in ways that allow them to devote special attention to all the policing needs of the citizens they serve. Resident Troopers coach youth sports teams or help plan a special event on their own time, simply because there is a need.
Master Corporal Victoria McCarthy the Cascade/Donnelly Resident Trooper at 2016 Winter Carnival
A Resident Trooper will probably know six out of the ten people that he or she stops for a traffic violation. Knowing the Trooper will not get the driver out of a ticket, but changing their driving behavior after a stern warning or a call to parents just may. A Resident Trooper will know, as he or she sees the same car drive by at the same time every day.

The program is truly a partnership with city police departments and county sheriffs' offices as a Trooper is frequently much needed backup for a deputy on a call for service such as a domestic violence or robbery call or to join a search for a missing hunter.
The visibility of a Resident Trooper has been known to lower crash rates in an area or prevent a drunk driver from getting behind the wheel, simply because drivers know that there is a chance somebody will be around the corner. The communities that the current 53 Resident Troopers serve can rely on ISP to provide assistance in a timely and professional manner, no matter where they and their families may live or travel.
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Children at Risk Task Force
Lisa Nordstrom - Boise
Commission on the Arts
Danielle Hurd - Boise
Domestic Violence & Victim Assistance
Sarah Swanson - Moscow
Education Commission of the States
Matt Freeman - Boise
Rod Gramer - Boise
Sherri Ybarra - Mountain Home
Endowment Fund Investment
Gavin Gee - Boise
Gary Mahn - Boise
Food Quality Assurance Institute
Roger Batt - Wilder
Heidi Campbell - Twin Falls
Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission
Michael Wilson - Coeur d'Alene
Outfitters & Guides
Wayne Hunsucker - Lucile
Scaling Practices
Jack Buell - St. Maries
Serve Idaho
Carrie Reese - Hayden Lake
WICHE (Higher Education)
Matt Freeman - Boise
Workforce Development Council
Johnathon Baker - Pocatello
Steinar Hjelle - Boise
Deanna McCutcheon - Boise