Idaho Governor's Budget Targets Wolves, Water And Wi-Fi

Jan 6, 2014

Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, (left) and Sen. Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, (right) escort Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter into the House chambers.
Credit Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

For those seeking a catchy slogan for Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's 2015 budget, they could do worse than "wolves, water and Wi-Fi."

The Republican governor Monday told legislators that those three things will be among his priorities for the coming fiscal year, starting in July.

Otter called for $2 million for a new Wolf Control Fund, something he sees necessary to keep the number of predators in check.

Idaho now has 680 wolves.

Amid a drought, he wants to dedicate $15 million for water projects, including final studies on a proposed dam on western Idaho's Weiser River, as well as boosting water storage capacity in the Island Park Reservoir in eastern Idaho.

Meanwhile, Otter's proposed budget includes about $2 million to sustain funding for equipping Idaho high schools with Wi-Fi.