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Otter says economy is in great shape

In a speech to the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said the state’s economy continues to grow, albeit slowly. He also restated his desire that the size of Idaho’s government grow more slowly than the state economy.

Butch Otter

“Idaho is in great shape,” Otter said Aug. 27. The governor’s Division of Financial Management is expecting state tax revenues, which are connected to economic activity, to grow 2.1 percent between July 2013 and June 2014, after growing more than 6 percent in the state’s previous fiscal year.

Otter said he wants to continue to be austere in operations of government, with public/private partnerships one way to avoid increasing government spending. Otter pointed to private backing of the University of Idaho’s Parma Research and Extension Center by the J. R. Simplot Company and other companies as an example of such partnerships.

“We expect to create an environment in state government and the state of Idaho that allows the private sector to work its magic, and its magic would be success,” Otter said.

In his Governor’s Address to the Business Community, Otter also talked about his recent appearance at an Aug. 22 manufacturing summit sponsored by Wal-Mart that also featured Chobani Inc. CEO Hamdi Ulukaya. In January, Wal-Mart announced it would buy an additional $50 billion in American-made products over the next 10 years. Otter said the trip could lead to more companies like Chobani coming to Idaho.

“We’re going to end up with a lot of interest and hopefully a lot of those companies,” he said.

About Brad Iverson-Long

Brad Iverson-Long is a reporter for the Idaho Business Review, covering banks, financial services, technology and new business.