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Eye On Boise

The latest budget cuts and what they mean

This morning, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee made a new round of budget cuts, and it was clear they didn't enjoy it. When Gov. Butch Otter imposed his 4 percent holdbacks, he also trimmed $17.4 million in one-time funds above and beyond the 4 percent. Today, JFAC added another $20.75 million in one-time funds to that, following up on Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron's call last Friday for agencies to halt spending of any non-operating money in the current budget year that they hadn't already spent.

Projects that had been approved for spending this year but instead got the axe included the Idaho Historical Society's plans to expand the state historical museum, which lost its $5 million appropriation for this year; a $3 million sewer system replacement at Farragut State Park, which will be put off; $1.6 million worth of deferred maintenance at the University of Idaho that will get deferred again; $2.3 million for milfoil eradication by the state Department of Agriculture, leaving just $1 million in the budget for that; and about $1 million worth of equipment replacements, mainly vehicles and computers, at the Department of Corrections.

The new cuts are essentially the equivalent of another holdback, only this time, instead of being ordered by the governor, it's being ordered by the Legislature. The moves today added $20.75 million to the governor's $130.6 million in holdbacks already ordered this year.

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.