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Eye On Boise

When Idaho governors cut the budget

With Gov. Butch Otter poised to order his first mid-year cut in the already-approved state budget, here’s a look at the most recent such holdbacks ordered by Idaho governors:

2003: Gov. Dirk Kempthorne ordered a 3.5 percent holdback on all state agencies except public schools and higher education. He later lowered it to 1.9 percent for the state Department of Health and Welfare.
2002: Gov. Kempthorne ordered a 2 percent holdback on state agencies, 1.5 percent for public schools. When shortfalls continued, he ordered an additional 1 percent across the board. It was the first permanent holdback on public schools in Idaho.
1997: Gov. Phil Batt ordered a 2.5 percent holdback in September, and recommended offsetting cuts to public schools from the state’s budget reserve fund. Improving revenues in the spring allowed the school funding to be replaced.
1996: Gov. Batt ordered a 2 percent temporary holdback on state agencies and schools; lawmakers covered the school funding from budget reserves.
1992: Gov. Cecil Andrus vetoed a legislative decision for a 1.1 percent holdback on agencies other than schools, but allowed the cut to stand for the legislative and judicial branches; he then ordered a 0.3 percent holdback in May when revenues continued to slip.
1986: Gov. John Evans ordered a 2.5 percent holdback, but the Legislature responded with a 4.5 percent cut passed over the governor’s veto. Sales taxes were raised temporarily from 4 percent to 5 percent; the increase later became permanent.

And here’s a link to my full story on today’s developments.


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About this blog

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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