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Gov. Otter gives final State of the State Address

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter gave his final state of the state address today. He laid out his fiscal budget, dropped in a few jokes and reflected on his time as governor.

He had many points, like education.

“To ensure we have effective teachers leading that effort in every Idaho classroom, my Executive Budget calls for providing nearly $42 million in fiscal 2019 for the fourth year of implementing our career ladder system for educators,” says Gov. Otter.

He also wants to advance the early intervention program for kids with literacy problems.

“So I’m asking today for $6.5 million in fiscal 2019 to expand literacy intervention efforts.”

Otter is also asking for an addition 5 million a year for college and career advising. He says that’s to make sure all districts help students plan for life after high school.

He also congratulated Bonneville County for creating the College of Eastern Idaho. He thanked his 36 member Higher Education Task Force and is calling for a new position.

“Therefore my budget request includes funding for the state board of education to hire an executive officer to coordinate the work of all our higher education institutions.”

Onto healthcare, Gov. Otter is making a final attempt at the Idaho Healthcare Plan which he says will stabilize the state’s insurance market.

“The Idaho Health Care plan gives us the opportunity to be both conservative and compassionate. It will enable those wih the most costly, medically complex conditions to move their coverage to Medicaid during the course of their illness. That in turn will enable insurance companies to reduce their premium rates for the majority of people who remain in the individual marketplace.”

He’s also excited about ICOM, idaho’s first medical school and asking that 11 residency programs be placed at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and Bingham Memorial Hospital.

Otter ended his speech on a positive reflection.

“Let me just say that the years I have had the opportunity to be your governor have provided among the most precious and rewarding experiences of my life.”

Governor otter also said he wants to add three crisis centers in Lewiston, Nampa-Caldwell and Pocatello areas.

He also mentioned how happy he is about the continued success of the Idaho National Laboratory.

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