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Coming Up: 
January 27th   
Governor Otter will sign a proclamation for "Stop the Bleed" emergency bleeding control measures at 2 p.m., 2nd floor Rotunda, Capitol, Boise.

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State of the State Address
On Monday, January 9th, I delivered my tenth State of the State address before a joint session of the Idaho Legislature. The focus of my speech, and my Executive Budget recommendations to lawmakers, was education - K through Career. My goal is to provide funding needed to implement our ambitious five-year plan for improving Idaho's public schools. I'm calling for a 7.9-percent increase in education spending in fiscal year 2017. That includes additional funding for the career ladder pay model for teachers and more money to support their professional development. I'm also calling for an increased investment in classroom technology, and more support for the STEM Action Center to help ensure every Idaho student is exposed to the tremendous career opportunities in STEM-related occupations.

For higher education, I recommended $35 million for college and university facilities throughout Idaho so our institutions can prepare for more Idaho students to Go On beyond high school. I'm also asking for a $5 million investment in workforce development training to help bridge the skills gap facing many Idaho employers. And I'm calling for additional funding to expand medical residencies throughout Idaho to help address our state's chronic shortage of physicians - especially in Idaho's rural areas.
  • Read my State of the State Address at this link
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Idaho Medal of Achievement Recipient
Barbara Morgan

Also on Monday, January 9th I presented the first-ever Idaho Medal of Achievement to Idaho educator and former astronaut Barbara Morgan. This award is the highest civilian honor given by the State of Idaho. Barbara Morgan's legacy as an exceptional teacher and pioneer inspires everyone with whom she comes into contact. A four-member commission unanimously chose her as the award's first recipient, and it's hard to imagine a better or more appropriate choice to represent what the Medal of Achievement stands for.
Morgan spent 24 years as an elementary school teacher in McCall while being the back-up Teacher in Space to Christa McAuliffe of New Hampshire. After McAuliffe's death in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Morgan waited 21 years before becoming the first teacher-astronaut in 2007 aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor. She continued to work with NASA to provide vision and leadership for Idaho K-12 STEM teachers, and now she's a distinguished educator in residence at Boise State University.
It was an honor to present Morgan with the first Idaho Medal of Achievement. Now I encourage you to nominate worthy individuals for the 2017 award to be presented at my next State of the State address in January 2018. The public is encouraged to go to my website or contact the Governor's Office to receive a nomination form by mail. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 31st.  
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Workforce Development Task Force
On January 17th I announced creation of an employer-driven Workforce Development Task Force to further my "K-through-Career" campaign to improve education and career readiness throughout Idaho. The Task Force will study how to improve Idaho's funding and allocation of resources for education and training programs that produce workers with the skills that Idaho employers need to grow their business and Idaho's economy. The Task Force will be led by co-chairs Brian Whitlock of the Idaho Hospital Association and Dr. David Hill of the State Board of Education - a retired senior executive at the Idaho National Laboratory. The membership includes representatives from the high-demand fields of advanced manufacturing, construction, health care, high-tech, food processing, aerospace, natural resources and energy, as well as education leaders specializing in both higher education and career-technical education. I expect to receive the Task Force's findings and recommendations by July 1 so we can prepare any necessary legislation in time for the Legislature's 2018 session.  
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State Board of Education
Higher Education Task Force
I have again asked the State Board of Education to lead a new task force to develop a five-year plan for higher education in Idaho. It's part of our strategy for advancing the "Go On" goal of 60 percent of Idahoans between the ages of 25 and 34 attaining a postsecondary degree or certification by 2020. The Task Force will include our college and university presidents, representatives from business and industry, legislators and students. Members will study the state of higher education in Idaho, initiatives already in place and proven practices in order to provide recommendations and strategies to further push Idaho towards our education goals. The Task Force also will take up the State's role in funding for higher education and recommend how to transition to a State funding formula that rewards those who graduate. The panel will be co-chaired by Bob Lokken, CEO of WhiteCloud Analytics Inc. and chairman of the Idaho Business for Education board of directors; and Dr. Linda Clark, vice president of the State Board of Education.
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President Trump's Inauguration
It was a tremendous honor to attend the January 20th inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States. The inaugural festivities with all their pomp and circumstance were something I will never forget. Miss Lori and I were proud to be part of the celebration. As you know, I'm bullish on the new administration, and I'm eager to see the decisions that will be made in the coming months and years by President Trump and his team. He has my full confidence and my best wishes as he takes up such issues as replacing Obamacare, refocusing on America's economic growth, and improving the often difficult working relationship between states like Idaho and our federal government. 
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Medicaid Roundtable in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, January 19th, I was part of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee's Medicaid Roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C. I joined a number of other Governors from around the country in a very productive and successful exchange on the future of the state-federal Medicaid program. It's an uncertain but hopeful time for all Idahoans as President Trump and Congress consider how best to replace Obamacare. In the coming months, I'm confident that responsible policies and regulations will be evaluated and recommendations will be proposed for improving our health care system and providing the opportunity for all Americans to get more affordable and effective coverage. 
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Executive Order:  Cybersecurity Task Force

On January 16th I signed an Executive Order enacting recommendations from the Cybersecurity Task Force that I appointed in July 2015 under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Brad Little. The Task Force developed its recommendations after working with state and national cybersecurity experts from business and government. Its recommendations are aimed at supporting State agencies in implementing national best practices in an effort to protect the security of Idaho's State computer networks. We soon will be appointing a State "Director of Information Security" within the Office of the Governor to lead our cybersecurity efforts. Those include providing for employee education and training, as well as developing a public outreach program to share best practices and up-to-date information. The idea is to improve Idaho's ability to detect, identify and thwart hacks on computer systems that put the personal information of Idaho citizens at risk. 
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LINE Commission

On January 17th I had the pleasure of speaking to my Leadership in Nuclear Energy (LINE) Commission, which was meeting in Boise. I formed the LINE Commission in 2013 to help identify how best to leverage the world class research and development work being done at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for the benefit of Idaho's economy. That includes developing and expanding opportunities for the use of new nuclear technologies being developed here in Idaho. I'm particularly grateful for the LINE Commission's support of efforts by our three universities to build two new INL research facilities in Idaho Falls, as well as its collaboration with experts at the INL on addressing cyberattacks and protecting Idaho's computer infrastructure.
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Idaho State Historical Society

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU) each made major contributions to renovating the Idaho State Historical Museum this month. Idaho Central Credit Union contributed $100,000 and the INL donated $50,000. Their generosity moved the contributions to over half of what's needed to achieve the Idaho Historical Society's $4 million fund-raising goal. The Historical Museum in Boise hasn't had a complete renovation since 1950. The planned upgrade will create a great public setting in which to tell the story of Idaho's rich and fascinating history. To learn more about the project you can visit the Idaho Historical Society's website at this link.

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Agency Spotlight: 
The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole

The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole is the releasing authority for convicted felons who have been imprisoned for their crimes by the State of Idaho. It's a small state agency, separate from the Department of Correction, and includes five commissioners and 33 full-time employees led by an Executive Director. Commissioners from throughout Idaho are appointed by the Governor and serve on a part-time basis. They conduct hearings and make decisions regarding parole releases and violations, early discharges from parole, pardons, commutations and restoration of firearms rights for those convicted of certain crimes. Some hearings involve an in-person interview with the offender and some are done by administrative review. In 2015, the Commission made decisions on more than 4,800 cases!

The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole recently played an important role in crafting and implementing the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, making two major changes in the past year in how parole decisions are made and documented, as well as how parole violations are managed. In addition to the commissioners, the agency consists of 18 hearing officers who provide the essential data to the commissioners for making informed decisions. The Commission also employs a victim coordinator who helps victims of crimes understand and navigate the parole process. And administrative staff provides documentation and tracking of the Commission's business on a daily basis. 
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Architectural Examiners
Rann Haight - Coeur d'Alene
Behavioral Health Planning Council       
Angenie McCleary - Ketchum
Building Authority         
Dr. Gregory Schade - Boise
James Hammond - Coeur d'Alene
Chiropractic Physicians Board   
Dr. Kathleen McKay - Jerome
Correction Board            
Debbie Field - Meridian
Criminal Justice Commission     
Sara Thomas - Meridian
Kendra Knighten - Boise
Developmental Disabilities Council       
Art Evans - Nampa
Kristie Oakes - Eagle
Administrator, Div. of Building Safety    
Chris Jensen - Blackfoot
Educational Services for the Deaf & Blind           
Allison Gonzalez - Boise
Food Quality Assurance Institute            
Kelly Henggeler - Fruitland
Terry Patterson - Twin Falls
Head Start Coord. Council          
Bill Foxcroft - Boise
Lori Fascilla - Boise
Health & Welfare Board             
Janet Penfold - Driggs
Tom Stroschein - Moscow
Wendy Jaquet - Ketchum
Hispanic Affairs Commission     
Juan Alvarez - Idaho Falls
Historical Society           
Earl Bennett - Genesee
Horse Board
Charleen Cooper - Caldwell
Mark Brown - American Falls
Honey Advertising Council        
Daniel Mudd - Salmon
Phil Puckett - Kamiah
Humanities Council       
JoAnn Nelson - Coeur d'Alene
Susan Gibson - Boise
John Ysursa - Boise
Trent Clark - Soda Springs
Idaho Building Code Board         
Andrew Bick - Boise
Idaho Rural Partnership                
Roy Valdez - Nampa
Idaho Transportation Board        
Dwight Horsch - Pocatello

Industrial Commission  
R.D. Maynard - Meridian
Infant Toddler Council 
Catherine Johnson - Emmett
Sen. Fred Martin - Boise
Ellen Neff - Twin Falls
Angela Lindig - Boise
Carrie Hull - Sagle
Amanda Flores - Nampa
Landscape Architects     
Jon Fritz Breckon - Boise
Lewis & Clark Trail Committee  
Allen Pinkham - Lenore
Lottery Commission      
Gary Michael - Boise
State Board of Optometry          
Bill Von Tagen - Boise
Nursing Home Administrators Examiners           
Nancy Kerr - Boise
Pea & Lentil Commission             
Dennis Dau - Reubens
Peace Officers Standards & Training      
Jan Bennetts - Boise
Physical Therapy             
Angela Lippiello - Pocatello
Mike Bailey - Coeur d'Alene
Plumbing Board              
Shaun Urwin - Boise
Professional Geologists              
Donna Welch - Boise
Public Defense Commission       
Eric Fredericksen - Meridian
Public Utilities Commission      
Paul Kjellander - Boise
Residential Care Facility Administrators              
Natalie Nathan - Garden City
Sexual Offender Management Bd.         
Erwin Sonnenberg - Boise
Kimberly Simmons - Meridian
Shorthand Reporters Board       
Judge Darren Simpson - Blackfoot
Speech & Hearing Services Board           
Cynthia Olsen - Boise
State Appellate Public Defender             
Eric Fredericksen - Meridian
Suicide Prevention Council        
Kira Burgess-Elmer - Nampa
Matt McCarter - Boise
Ismael Fernandez - Wilder
Veterans Affairs Commission   
Melvin Napier - Boise
Veterinary Medicine Board       
Robert Pierce - Sandpoint
Water Resource Board 
Albert Barker - Boise
John A Stevenson - Rupert
Roger Chase - Pocatello
Vince Alberdi - Kimberly
Workforce Development Council            
Shelli Bardsley - Pocatello
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