Idaho governor to give final State of the State speech

Idaho governor to give final State of the State speech

Christy Perry, a Republican from Nampa, says she wore all black during the annual “State of the State” address to show support for sexual violence victims and to highlight the importance of women in the workplace.

Perry, who is also running Idaho open 1st Congressional District, said Monday that women who experience sexual harassment in the workplace often face worse situations back at home. She added that it important to raise awareness about supporting women in all areas of life.

Perry decision to wear all black comes just a day after almost every attendee at the Golden Globes Awards also wore black in support of the Time Up movement and as a statement against sexual misconduct.

All Idaho lawmakers will undergo “respectful workplace training” Tuesday. The training will include new policies on sexual harassment and changes on how to report misconduct.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist thanked Gov. “Butch” Otter for his years of service, but said the upcoming race for the state highest elected office is about the future not the past.

Ahlquist, who is running for elected office for the first time, released a statement Monday following Otter twelfth and final “State of the State” address to lawmakers. The speech kicks off the 2018 legislative session.

Otter is not running for re election this year. Instead, Lt. Gov. Rep Raul Labrador and Ahlquist have all filed as Republican candidates in the open gubernatorial race.

Campaign manager David Johnston says Ahlquist is a political outsider who will bring a fresh approach to Idaho.

Throughout his 55 minute speech on Monday, Otter focused on the benefits of political experience in order to learn the proper role of government.

Idaho Democratic legislative leaders thanked Gov. “Butch” Otter for his service to the state of Idaho, noting that Otter has maintained a spirit of civil discourse even though the minority party hasn always seen eye to eye with the Republican politician.

However, House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding of Boise said Monday he was concerned Otter proposed $192 million tax cut will be balanced out on the backs of Idaho families.

Furthermore, Erpelding says Otter 12 years in the executive office has left an entire generation of Idahoans impacted by inconsistent policies on education and health care.

Gov. “Butch” Otter is asking state lawmakers to approve a nearly $200 million tax cut for Idaho taxpayers.

Otter unveiled his tax cut package Monday during his “State of the State” address.

The announcement comes at a time when tax officials are warning lawmakers that Idaho taxpayers could end up paying roughly $100 million more next year as a result of the Republican tax overhaul that President Donald Trump signed into law last month.

Otter proposal is the latest idea lawmakers and tax experts are tossing around to ensure Idahoans receive tax relief, particularly as many Republican lawmakers face re election in the upcoming GOP primary in May.

Separately, Otter is once again pushing lawmakers to reduce a key component in how Idaho calculates the unemployment insurance tax rate because the trust fund Idaho uses to pay unemployment benefits has more money than it needs to survive an economic crisis. Lawmakers failed to take up the governor request last year.

Gov. “Butch” Otter final “State of the State” address begins with announcing Idaho is in a better place than when he took over office 12 years ago.

Otter said Monday that the governmental growth has remained limited during his three terms in the executive office, but the state has made important investments with its tax revenue.

The Republican governor is not seeking a fourth term.

Otter uses the annual speech to outline his budget and policy priorities for the upcoming fiscal year 2019. This year, Otter is asking lawmakers to raise the budget 6.6 percent bringing the budget total to roughly $3.6 billion.

Idaho Republican senators have elected new legislative leaders before the 2018 session officially kicks off.
Idaho governor to give final State of the State speech