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Eye On Boise

Otter budget funds nursing buildings, not faculty

Although Gov. Butch Otter wants to spend millions on building new nursing education buildings, his budget includes no funding for $13.6 million in additional faculty, training and pay recommended by a state Nursing Task Force.

“You can’t have one without the other, can you?” asked a surprised Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo, who served on the nursing task force.

Otter recommended $37 million to build new nursing education buildings at Lewis-Clark State College and at the College of Southern Idaho. He also included $635,000 in one-time spending in his budget to buy new clinical simulators for all six Idaho institutions that offer nursing education, and to lease some additional space.

“The governor did not address in his recommendation increasing the number of nursing faculty,” said Jane McClaran, Otter’s budget analyst for higher education. “It simply did not fit into his ongoing general fund budget.” Read the full story here in today’s Spokesman-Review.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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