Education

Education, Tax Relief at Heart of Idaho Governor's State Address

January 10, 2017

Gov. Butch Otter’s State of the State address Monday focused heavily on education funding, tax relief and creating a secured facility for mentally ill people committed to a state hospital.

The 64th Idaho Legislature began Monday, just before Otter’s annual State of the State address.

“Our finances are secure,” Otter told lawmakers. “Revenue is exceeding expectations. Economic growth is outpacing the overall growth of government, and our own operations are more transparent and efficient than they’ve ever been.”

Otter’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 came in at $3.46 billion in the general fund, a pricetag that’s 5.87 percent higher than the previous year.

The largest piece of that budget, 63 percent, is proposed to fund public education.

Otter pitched using around $104.2 million of the budget for improving education, including $35 million to the permanent building fund for higher education facilities.

Otter recommended in his address that another $58 million be added to the career ladder for teachers in public schools.

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