BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's new insurance exchange aims to rehire a former Department of Insurance contractor as its leader, to prepare for its Jan. 1, 2014 start-up. The non-profit exchange's 19-member board Tuesday voted unanimously to hire Amy Dowd as its executive director.

Dowd had worked in Idaho as project manager for an insurance exchange proposal until June 2011, but left for a job in Oregon after progress temporarily stalled amid opposition from the Republican-led Legislature. The 2013 Idaho Legislature approved the exchange, however, so Idaho wants to bring Dowd back.

Tammy Perkins, an aide to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter who works on insurance issues, said Tuesday Idaho is fortunate that Dowd has agreed to return. Dowd, who now works at consultant Ernst & Young in Oregon, is expected to earn about $175,000.