BOISE -- Gov. C.L. Butch Otter's State of the State speech Monday can't have emboldened the hopes of proponents of hiking the state's tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products to curb smoking rates.
Otter mentioned taxes 18 times in his address to the Idaho Legislature. Not once did he mention higher ones.
An average 2.2 percent cut to Idaho government programs statewide, with the biggest a $25 million blow to Medicaid health insurance for the poor, will instead fill a roughly $50 million hole.
Before Monday's gubernatorial speech, lawmakers raised fears of a projected $340 million budget gap.
But Otter and his aides outlined a plan that relies on modest economic growth and a variety of other maneuvers to balance the books.
The governor drew his line in the sand, saying he hasn't heard one Idahoan say they want their taxes raised.