Gov. Butch Otter is in Florida this week attending a meeting of the Republican Governors Association and is sending Lt. Gov. Brad Little to give Thursday's luncheon address at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho's annual conference.
ATI represents many of Idaho's leading companies, including Century Link, Hewlett-Packard, Idaho Power, Intermountain Gas, Micron, Melaleuca, Monsanto, Simplot, SuperValu and Wells Fargo.
The conference draws about 300 power brokers to the must-go event in advance of the legislative session. The theme of the 65th annual conference is "Niching Idaho in Uncertain Economic Times."
ATI always invites sitting governors to speak and Otter was originally listed as "invited" on the conference program. ATI President Randy Nelson said the governor informed the group he wouldn't attend several weeks ago.
The agenda also includes talks from Keith Phillips, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Greg Casey, president and CEO of the Business Industry Political Action Committee in Washington, D.C.; House Speaker Lawerence Denney and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill; and a briefing from the Legislature's top budget staffer, Cathy Holland-Smith.
Registration is required to attend.
Two weeks ago, Little filled in for Otter in chairing a key meeting of the Idaho Oil and Gas Commission, which approved new rules for natural gas exploration. Otter was spending five days in Maui with his wife, Lori, at the expense of the California Independent Voter Project.
Otter left for Orlando early Tuesday and will return late Friday. He is accompanied by Mrs. Otter. The trip is paid for by the Republican Governors Association, according to Otter spokesman Jon Hanian.
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