Otter's State of the State: 'No' to Medicaid Expansion, 'Yes' to Restoring Some Ed Funds 

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, in his State of the State Address Monday afternoon before a joint session of the Idaho House and Senate, asked for lawmakers' support for "my key proposals in the coming year and beyond."

But voters will have the final say on that "beyond" part, as Otter's political future will be defined when he faces opposition in the November general election and even a primary challenge from within his own party this May.

In his 40-minute address, Otter breezed through a list of boilerplate issues: education, health care reform, water resources and wolves, while stopping along the way to give his thanks to Idaho veterans, the recently retired director of the Idaho Department of Labor and the first woman to serve on the Idaho Potato Commission.

Among the highlights:

- Otter said that he would "love to see a third year" of tax relief, but he asked the Legislature to temper their zeal for tax cuts with restoring some education funding.

- He said "no" to Medicaid expansion in Idaho, at least for now. "We should not jump into the deep end without knowing what's on the bottom," said Otter. "So for this year, and until we are better positioned and prepared to succeed on our own terms, my answer remains: not this year."

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