Idaho Gov. Butch Otter had harsh words for Democrats, including state lawmakers and his opponent in the November election. Otter talked with IdahoReporter.com shortly after speaking to the Idaho State Republican Party in Idaho Falls.
Otter and other Republican constitutional officers, including Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, and Secretary of State Lawrence Wasden, spoke at the convention on Friday.
The governor got applause from the partisan crowd after he said that Democrats would have steered the state budget in a different direction.
Otter acknowledged criticism over the spending plan he approved that included reductions to public education. He said that he remains committed to funding education in the future.
Otter said, based on the past few months of tax collections, that if lawmakers had passed a larger budget, it would have required potentially devastating education holdbacks next year. The lower tax revenue projections approved by the Legislature are still higher than collections. Otter said that he’ll talk with lawmakers who helped set the budget about how to balance the current budget, which ends its year on June 30. There are several reserve funds Otter can draw from to match revenues and spending.
The governor said he absolutely, without reservation endorses Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, in his congressional race against Rep. Walt Minnick, and will help Labrador on the campaign trail.
Before Otter took the stage at the convention, Little criticized the Democratic candidate for governor, Keith Allred. Little called Allred an ivory tower liberal college professor with no experience. Otter said he agreed with Little’s assessment.
Otter said he’s not surprised that Allred had more campaign money on hand.
As of June 4, Allred had $189,000 in campaign accounts, while Otter had $161,000.
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