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BOISE -- Idaho Democrats are open to a $141 million personal property tax cut proposed by Gov. C.L. Butch Otter, provided there's something in it for local governments.

The minority party Tuesday offered its annual response to Otter's State of the State speech, when the Republican governor announced he favored local option taxes to help replace money cities, counties and schools stand to lose from elimination of the tax on business equipment.

Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett said local governments must be shielded from cuts to critical services.

House Minority Leader John Rusche said it's too early to declare a caucus position, adding his members want to be players in the debate.

In addition, Democrats say they'll push again for an independent ethics panel, election reforms and help disabled veterans find jobs.

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