"May of the decisions we make will be thankless. Our motives will be questioned. There will be no credit for good intentions. There will be no moral victories."
With sobering heed to lawmakers, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Ottter began the 2011 legislative session Monday afternoon with his State of the State and Budget Address.
"Folks, we've got to turn this discussion back to personal responsibility," said Otter. "We've got to turn it back to the family. We've got to turn it back to our communities."
Otter told the story of how as a child he and his family moved often in order for his father to find work as an electrician.
"I can remember time and again, when my Dad would come home and say, 'I'm sorry, but the job is finished and I don't know what we're going to do until I get another one. So instead of that new pair of shoes, we're going to have to get the old ones repaired. We're just going to have to do more with less.' And you know what? We all survived."
Otter outlined how a number of state agencies were realizing some savings in the shadow of the recession.
-Department of Correction is saving $32 million in by improving offender assessment and placement.
-The Idaho Transportation Department is saving $1.5 through realignment.
-The Division of Building Safety is saving $415,000 by sharing office space and issuing more permits online.
"That's money we can use for public schools or other pressing needs," said Otter.
As expected, Otter said he had no appetite for new revenue enhancements.
"I haven't heard one Idahoan say they want their taxes raised. If anyone wants to contribute more to State government, they're free to do so. But this is not the time for us to coerce those payments with more taxes."