Eye On Boise

Otter dropping NGA membership

Among the budget cuts on which Gov. Butch Otter already has decided: He'll be the only governor next year who won't be a member of the National Governors Association, his budget chief, Wayne Hammon, just told the ATI conference. "It just costs too much money," Hammon said. He said in his office, the Division of Financial Management, staffers also will be dropping their national association memberships. Hammon said the federal government's boost to Medicaid funding through the economic stimulus, which raised the percentage of Medicaid costs the feds covered, was crucial to balancing this year's budget, and the future of that matching rate affects Idaho's future budgets. "There's no way we could've balanced the budget last year without this FMAP change," Hammon said.

In next year's budget, he said, "You won't see a lot of new initiatives or projects." It's not the time, he said. State employees likely won't get raises, and there likely will be further cuts in their benefits.




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