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Budget scuffle prompts ‘pre-emptive veto’

Here's a news item from AP: "Budget writers relented to demands by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's budget chief and refrained from using a fraction of Idaho's federal stimulus windfall to pay for family medicine residencies. At a Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee hearing Tuesday, some lawmakers favored using $318,000 from $45 million in stimulus money that Otter has already earmarked for water and roads projects to pay for additional family medicine residencies in Boise and Pocatello. Wayne Hammon, Otter's budget chief, strenuously objected. Rep. Maxine Bell, budget panel co-chair, got the impression Hammon was issuing a pre-emptive "veto message." Lawmakers instead opted to take the money out of the state's general fund, which has been hit by revenue shortfalls. Bell's take on the altercation: "We chose to take the high road." "

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Eye On Boise

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