Thursday, January 7, 2010

Otter, Legislative Leaders Agree: No Growth Budget

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Gov. Butch Otter, post-presser
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Gov. Butch Otter, post-presser
Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter, flanked by House and Senate Republican leaders, announced an agreement on broad budget limitations for 2010 and 2011, though he acknowledged some disagreements remain.

“We don’t agree on everything, but there are some important elements on which we do agree,” Otter said.

Otter told an annual gathering of reporters this morning that he would call for an additional 2010 holdback in his State of the State speech on Monday and would announce a no-growth budget for the 2011 budget year. The meeting, hosted by the Associated Press, is in the West Garden Level of the newly refurbished State Capitol. Coffee and pastries are available across the hall—I think there is a newly enforced ban on food and maybe drink in committee rooms, though a muffin sits wrapped like a baby under my chair as we blog.

Otter is optimistic for the state economy, largely based on Micron's recently reported profits. He acknowledged some uneasiness with announcing holdbacks and stagnant budgets amidst the lavish upholstery of the new Senate Ag Affairs, Transportation and Local Government and Taxation committees hearing room.

“There is some uneasiness there, but we can’t give it back, we made , most of this decision was made long before I was in office and many of the others were in office … and so we worked out an agreement and this is where we are,” Otter said.

Responding to a question from Bronco Statesman columnist Dan Popkey about federal intervention in the national football championships, Otter said he'd be speaking about the Broncos on Monday. Otter is not divulging any more info about what he will say in his State of the State speech on Monday.

One apparent disagreement between lawmakers and the governor is how to handle public schools with further holdbacks and next year's budget.

More from Mike Butts at the Idaho Press Tribune, clacking behind me and Betsy Russell's Eye on Boise, in the front row, who heard Otter say he favors holdbacks on schools.

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