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Idaho Democrats Say Otter's Budget Proposals Sound Familiar

Jessica Robinson
Northwest News Network
Idaho's Democratic lawmakers delivered their response to the governor's state of the state address on Tuesday.

Idaho Democrats predict more common ground than usual at the state Capitol this year.

That’s because Idaho’s minority party leaders say many of the Republican proposals on the table are things Democrats have been pushing -- for years.

Democrats make up only 20 percent of Idaho’s legislature and House Minority Leader John Rusche said they’re used to their bills not even being printed.

But Rusche was pleased to hear the governor in his state of the state address call for a series of spending measures -- things like increasing the education budget, offering some public employees more competitive salaries and creating programs to train skilled worker.

“We’ve talked about that for years,” Rusche said. “Basically, beginning to realize you don’t fix a low-wage economy with further cuts.”

Democrats said overall there’s a lot of agreement, but that the governor’s plans to increase wages don’t go far enough.

They are working on a bill to boost Idaho’s minimum wage.