Idaho Democratic legislative leaders aren’t disagreeing with Gov. Butch Otter about the need for new budget cuts, but have issued a statement calling for “responsible, targeted cuts that protect critical services to middle-class Idaho families.” House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, and Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, thanked Otter for meeting with them before announcing the cuts. “Times are hard and the state clearly is facing a bleak budget picture,” Jaquet said. “We need to be as prudent and fiscally responsible as possible. The holdbacks give us all an opportunity to look at what we’re doing and how we are spending and whether we ought to do things differently.”
“But,” she said, “We also need to cut carefully. For example, Idahoans who’ve recently been laid off need opportunities to retrain for new jobs, so this is no time for drastic cuts to vocational and secondary education programs.” Added Stennett, “We need to be thoughtful and prudent in our approach to budget cuts.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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