The Legislature's Economic Outlook Committee's median revenue estimate was $77.3 million more than Gov. Dirk Kempthorne's figure - but then the committee voted 7-2 to adopt the governor's more conservative numbers anyway. The number matters, because it's the basis for setting the state budget for next year. "That's kind of a milestone," said Senate Tax Chairman Hal Bunderson, R-Meridian, for "that very conservative committee." Bunderson said he couldn't recall the legislative panel's estimate exceeding the governor's estimate like that before, and added, "I think even the governor would hope that the committee's projections would be realized."
A higher revenue estimate means the possibility of a bigger state budget. But committee members said they decided to be cautious and go with the governor's figures.