The Legislature’s joint committee charged with examining the state of Idaho’s economy and determining a revenue figure on which to set the state budget has endorsed the Otter Administration’s forecast, which calls for 3.4 percent revenue growth in fiscal 2009, following 3.5 percent in the current year, fiscal 2008. The decision came after the revenue estimates selected by each of the 12 committee members resulted in a median figure that was less than 1 percent off from the governor’s number of $3.0119 billion.
“In our opinion, Gov. Otter’s general fund revenue projections for fy 2008 and fy 2009 are reasonable for the purpose of the legislature making general fund appropriations for those years,” the joint committee said in its report, approved by a voice vote and scheduled for presentation to JFAC in the morning. “Because the committee median forecast is slightly lower than the governor’s forecast for fy 2009, we believe the legislature should take a cautious approach with regard to funding commitments to ongoing programs.” Otter’s forecast identifies $56 million of the revenue expected for fiscal year 2009 as “one-time” money only, which can’t be expected to come every year.