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Coming Up:

Tuesday, JUNE 28th - 30th
I will be participating in the annual Trail Ride at Copper Basin.
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Western Governors Meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

I participated in a great conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, June 11th through the 14th. Ten Western governors and two members of the President's Cabinet attended the Western Governors' Association's (WGA) annual meeting to discuss a wide variety of issues with a tremendous impact on all our citizens. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell listened to many of us express our misgivings about how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) works - or more accurately, how it doesn't work and what can be done to fix it. Too many times the ESA ties down states in so much bureaucratic red tape that it kills jobs, harms our communities and stunts economic opportunity for our citizens. The governors on hand let Secretary Jewell know that we want the ESA to do only what it was intended to do without the unintended consequences on the people of our states.

My counterparts and I also heard reports at the conference about how to curb biosecurity threats and encourage innovation in the West. And we celebrated the National Park Service Centennial. The WGA's chairman this year, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, released the first-year report of the Western Governors' Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative and announced a policy resolution that will guide the governors' work on the ESA. The governors approved seven resolutions in all. Besides Governor Mead and me, others in attendance included Montana's Steve Bullock, Arizona's Doug Ducey, Colorado's John Hickenlooper, Nevada's Brian Sandoval, North Dakota's Jack Dalrymple, South Dakota's Dennis Daugaard and Utah's Gary Herbert.    
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I also got to talk privately with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz during the conference about the need for his agency to move up the timetable for removing old radioactive waste from the Idaho National Laboratory. Secretary Moniz told me that's a possibility.
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Boise High Student Featured at WGA

While at the WGA conference, I enjoyed the work of high school students from all over the West who participated in an art contest featuring selected works from each of our states. It was an artistic effort to capture the essence of what it means to live in the West. More than 200 entries from the 19 WGA member states, as well as artwork from American Samoa and Guam, arrived by the deadline for the competitions sponsored by the Western Governors' Foundation. I want to congratulate Idaho's student artist who represented Idaho. Peter Eberle of Boise High School entered the above digital painting, "Behind the Western Sunset". Way to go, Peter. I am proud to have you represent Idaho!  
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SelectUSA Summit, Washington, D.C.

On June 19th and 20th, I was proud to represent Idaho at the SelectUSA Summit in Washington, D.C. It was a great opportunity for officials from around the state to meet with companies from all over the world to exchange ideas and discuss the advantages and benefits of bringing jobs and capital investment to Idaho. It gave us the chance to show why such employers as Clif Bar, Chobani, Amy's Kitchen and many others are prospering here. 
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Ground Breaking for Renovations at the Idaho Historical Museum

On June 22, Miss Lori and I were joined by Idaho Tribal leaders and other dignitaries at the ground breaking for renovations at the Idaho Historical Museum. The renovations will highlight northern, central and southern Idaho and will be an outstanding resource for all Idahoans - especially our students. No matter which of Idaho's 44 counties and 202 cities you call home, the museum improvements will provide a place for Idahoans to come together and be inspired and view that which we as a state value most. 
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First Lady's Focus: Northwest State Rural Development Councils

Representatives of the Idaho Rural Partnership, Oregon Rural Development Council, and Partners for Rural Washington recently conducted a two-day summit to share information about emerging rural development trends and prioritize opportunities for collaboration between the three statewide rural development councils. More than 40 participants came from a variety of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities and businesses committed to the success of rural communities. They included USDA-Rural Development State Directors Wally Hedrick (Idaho), Vicki Walker (Oregon), and Mario Villanueva (Washington). Guest speakers included leaders from the Arizona and Michigan rural development councils.

On Wednesday, June 15, First Lady Lori Otter and Governor Otter welcomed Summit participants to their ranch in Star for a dinner featuring flat iron steak and baked salmon. Despite a light rain, participants appreciated the opportunity to meet the Governor and First Lady and enjoy each other's company.

On Thursday, June 16, Summit participants identified the following areas for collaboration between the three councils:
  • Encourage small business development
  • Bridge the gap between rural and urban interests
  • Develop local leadership and volunteer capacity
  • Workforce availability and education
  • Provide thoughtful analysis of rural issues and policies to elected officials and other leaders
  • Help increase trust, understanding and consensus between individuals and community groups with divergent values and opinions
  • Recognize the Northwest's high environmental quality, natural resources, and related recreation opportunities (including agritourism) as an economic development asset
Summit participants now are completing a written report detailing specific outcomes the collaboration will pursue over the next year and beyond. The Summit of Northwest State Rural Development Councils was coordinated by the Idaho Rural Partnership with funding support from USDA-Rural Development. Additional in-kind support was provided by the Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho Housing and Finance Association and the Idaho National Laboratory.
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Agency Spotlight: Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses

The Bureau of Occupational Licenses was created in 1974, within the Department of Self-Governing Agencies, to serve the needs of many of the self-governing Boards.

The Bureau's operations depend solely on dedicated funds generated from fees for applications, original licenses/registrations, renewals, examinations, and disciplinary fines.  Neither tax dollars nor other funds from Idaho's general fund are used. Each Board is self-supporting and the Bureau's annual appropriation is distributed among the boards based on historical needs, new programs, and requests.

The Bureau enters into written agreements to provide administrative, investigative, fiscal, and legal services to the Boards. This arrangement allows several boards to share resources and the costs of operation while maintaining their independence.
Because the charge of all boards is to protect the public, the 2017 Legislature passed a bill to add a public member to all boards. Many of the boards currently served by the Bureau include a public member, but as of July 1st, 2017, a public member will be added to the Boards that do not already include one.
The Bureau of Occupational Licenses provides services to the following 30 Boards:
  • Idaho State Board of Acupuncture;
    • Board of Architectural Examiners;
    • Uniform Athlete Agents Registration;
    • Athletic Commission;
    • Board of Barber Examiners;
    • Board of Chiropractic Physicians;
    • Contractors Board;
    • Board of Cosmetology;
    • Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists;
    • Board of Dentistry;
    • Driving Businesses Licensure Board;
    • Genetic Counselors Licensure Board;
    • Board of Registration for Professional Geologists;
    • Board of Landscape Architects;
    • Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Board;
    • Board of Massage Therapy;
    • Board of Midwifery;
    • Board of Morticians;
    • Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators;
    • Occupational Therapy Licensure Board;
    • Board of Optometry;
    • Board of Physical Therapists;
    • Board of Podiatry;
    • Board of Psychologist Examiners;
    • Real Estate Appraiser Board;
    • Board of Examiners of Residential Care Facility Administrators;
    • Board of Social Work Examiners;
    • Shorthand Reporters Board;
    • Speech & Hearing Services Licensure Board; and
    • Board of Drinking Water and Wastewater Professionals
The size of the board ranges from three members to seven members. For more information on the appointment program or if you are interested in serving on one of these Boards, please go to the Governor's website at 
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