The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has voted unanimously to let Idaho State University proceed with its plans to purchase of the former Jabil Circuits plant in Meridian, but not to give the school $5 million for the project. Backers had brought a last-minute request for $5 million in state funds to match a $5 million donation from an unnamed foundation and $7.5 in university-issued bonds for the project, as part of a hush-hush deal that’s only been discussed up to now in closed meetings of the state Board of Education. JFAC instead passed a resolution authorizing the university to go ahead with the project with its bond funds and foundation donation, subject to approval from the state Board. That’ll allow ISU to purchase the building and start the project, but probably not expand the building to include a second story. “In the future they may come back and request through the normal process that additional $5 million,” said Senate Finance Chair Dean Cameron. “This doesn’t preclude them from doing that.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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