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Budget cuts hit parks department

Legislative budget writers have set a budget for the state Parks Department that's a 57.9 percent cut from their current year general-fund level, and 18.8 percent overall. "They've limped along - it's sad," said Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum. The vote in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee was unanimous. Parks Director Bob Meinen said after the vote that it's too early to say whether the budget will force closure of any state parks; his department has been looking into whether it can keep Old Mission State Park at Cataldo open. "We've got to evaluate where we are and take a look at the big picture," Meinen said. "Under the circumstances, I think the committee has done the best job they can with the resources they have." He said, "If we can, our intent is to keep everything open. That's my hope."

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Eye On Boise

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