As the Legislature approaches crunch time for setting budgets, Gov. Butch Otter is taking his "Capital for a Day" road show to Hazelton, a farm town represented by the co-chairs of the Legislature's budget committee and another chairman.
In announcing the selection for his Feb. 19 visit, Otter tipped his cowboy hat to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Dean Cameron of Rupert, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Maxine Bell of Jerome and House Resources and Conservation Committee Chairman Bert Stevenson of Rupert.
Otter's visit will come three days before the budget committee begins setting budgets.
District 26, Jerome and Minidoka counties, has extraordinary clout because of its loyalty to the three Republicans. Bell is serving her 11th two-year term, Cameron his 10th and Stevenson his seventh.
“It’s no surprise that the legislative district that includes Hazelton is represented by both co-chairs of the budget-setting Joint Finance Appropriations Committee and the chairman of the House Resources and Conservation Committee,” Otter said in a news release. “It’s an area that is particularly representative of Idaho’s rural values and agricultural heritage. My Cabinet and I are pleased to get the chance to make it the seat of State government for the day.”
The first-come, first-served open opportunity to meet with Otter, several members of his Cabinet and other senior state officials is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Valley Christian Center located at 35 Main Street in Hazelton. Also on hand will be Mayor Roy McDowell, other state and local leaders, and community members for lunch at the same location.
Otter's office released the following list of officials who will help him answer citizens' questions: Celia Gould, director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture; Don Dietrich, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce; Bill Deal, director of the Idaho Department of Insurance; Kim Toryanski, administrator of the Idaho Commission on Aging; Kelly Pearce, director of the Division of Building Safety; Brian Ness, director of the Idaho Transportation Department; Gary Spackman, interim director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources; Tom Luna, Superintendent of Public Instruction; Royce Chigbrow, chairman of the Idaho State Tax Commission; Tim Duffner, area supervisor for the Idaho Department of Lands; Christine Orders with the Idaho Department of Labor; John Hathaway, regional director for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare; Devin Rigby, district engineer for the Idaho Transportation Department; Mark Browning, communication director for the State Board of Education; and Lt. Robert Storm with the Idaho State Police.
You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.