Monday, Jan. 14, Idaho Legislature highlights:
Developers praise Otter plan
Gov. Butch Otters proposal to start a $3 million business-development fund is a generous start, says Clark Krause, executive director of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerces economic development arm.
Otter backed a plan for money that economic developers could use to help close a deal with a company looking to bring jobs to Idaho.
Krause, executive director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, has sought the fund as a tool to help land businesses that look at Idaho for a place to locate but often move on to somewhere else.
A business-development fund would require companies to meet agreed-upon goals in capital expansion or job creation, said Jeffery Sayer, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. Money would be paid out after a company meets its performance goals.
Krause and other economic developers in the state sought a $5 million fund during the 2012 Legislature.
Bill Roberts, Idaho Statesman
State sees rise inindigent patients
Idaho public health officials are reporting a significant jump in 2012 in the number of indigent patients seeking medical care through the states catastrophic fund.
The Idaho CAT Fund Director Roger Christensen told budget writers Tuesday the fund handled more than 6,400 cases last year. The 2012 tally is up from more than 4,500 in 2011 and 4,300 in 2010.
Christensen attributed the spike to an increase in mental health cases.
Ada County had the most cases of any of Idaho's 44 counties with more than 1,610 followed by Twin Falls, Canyon and Kootenai counties.
The CAT program is funded entirely by general fund revenue and county property taxes. The budget request for 2014 is $38.2 million, about $2 million more than a year ago.
Whats happening at the Legislature?
Contact a legislator, find out about new bills, see the agendas for the House and Senate and read what is on tap for all legislative committees at legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/agenda.htm.