Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter issued the following statement in reaction to [Thursday's] 32-37 vote against a proposal to raise Idaho’s fuel tax by 2 cents per gallon.
"That being said, I am very disappointed by the outcome of today’s vote. Employers, local leaders and other concerned citizens from throughout Idaho have helped me assemble a mountain of information to make the case over the past year. A legislative audit confirmed the need.
"For months now we have made every compromise, addressed every legitimate concern and provided every alternative that opponents wanted. Instead of working in the best interest of Idaho, 37 members of the House continue finding new excuses to do nothing. That is irresponsible.
"I have done and will continue doing everything I can. It is the responsibility of all of us – including those 37 House members – to act on the real needs of the people we serve. This is a serious and immediate issue of safety, of economic recovery and future prosperity, and of whether we are going to be responsible stewards of a $16 billion investment that generations of Idaho taxpayers have left in our care or passive witnesses to, and victims of, its continuing deterioration.
"We must not and I will not ignore reality. I will continue working with those legislators who understand the problem and are willing to provide leadership and solutions to meet our responsibilities.”