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Eye On Boise

THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2009, 8:15 A.M.

ISP budget set

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee struggled Thursday to set a balanced budget for the Idaho State Police, and that was without the fund shift the governor is proposing, to shift $3.2 million of ISP's funding for next year into transportation and make the amount up for ISP from the state's general fund. That bill hasn't yet passed either house.  (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee struggled Thursday to set a balanced budget for the Idaho State Police, and that was without the fund shift the governor is proposing, to shift $3.2 million of ISP's funding for next year into transportation and make the amount up for ISP from the state's general fund. That bill hasn't yet passed either house. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

The budget set in JFAC this morning for the Idaho State Police makes up a $2.8 million revenue shortfall at ISP that wasn't covered in the governor's budget recommendation by shifting around dedicated funds in the department. The result is a budget for next year that cuts ISP's general funds by 28.7 percent, but shows an increase in dedicated funds of 26.2 percent, and an increase in federal funds of 5.5 percent, mainly due to two federal grants that come under the economic stimulus legislation for specific programs. Overall, ISP ends up with exactly the same funding next year as it had last year - but if the shortfall hadn't been made up, the agency would've had to cut patrol officers.

Not reflected in the budget set by the joint committee is the $3.2 million Gov. Butch Otter wants to shift into ISP from general funds, to start a phased-in move to offset money that now comes to the department from gas taxes; it's part of his transportation initiative. "If any bills pass like that, then basically we've got a $6 million problem instead of the $2.8 million we're looking at right now," said Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, who proposed the budget bill. It passed the joint committee unanimously.




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Eye On Boise

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