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Eye On Boise

Wed., Feb. 11, 2009, 9:24 p.m.

Lawmakers: Millenium Fund is ‘last resort’

The Millenium Fund Committee met today, and lawmakers on the joint panel sent a message to Gov. Butch Otter, the AP reports: Idaho should raid its tobacco-settlement fund only as a "last resort" if tax revenue collapses. Here’s the news from AP reporter John Miller: “Wednesday's unanimous vote of Millennium Fund Committee comes after Otter last month suggested using $25 million from the $68 million fund to pay for programs that otherwise may be cut to balance the 2010 budget starting in July.

Separately, the 10-member panel recommended spending $1.9 million of the $4.9 million payout next year on drug treatment that otherwise might go shortchanged in the recession. Other recommendations: $500,000 for the Idaho Meth Project, $1.3 million for counseling and nicotine patches to kick smoking and $500,000 for courts helping kids curb anti-social behavior. These are recommendations; budget writers and the Legislature must still sign off before the cash is distributed.”

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.