Eye On Boise

Firefighting bill: $7.2 million

JFAC has voted to pay off its first big bill, the $7.2 million left from firefighting in the fiscal year that ended on June 30 of 2009. Last year, the Legislature changed its usual procedure for paying wildfire bills so it knows in advance what bills are coming, by issuing deficiency warrants for the fiscal year after it closes, and paying them off the following winter. That means any firefighting bills from this past summer will be on next year's bill. "These are to pay the bills for fires that have been fought," said Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, Senate Finance vice-chair, and the motion passed unanimously, 18-0.

It was the first of a long list of deficiency warrants and supplemental budget requests that the Legislature will work through; supplemental requests are those additional items that need funding in the current budget year, rather than next year. None of the supplementals to be considered today involve state general tax funds; instead they include things like authorizing the spending of an additional $8.2 million in federal stimulus money and other federal funds on remediation in the Coeur d'Alene Basin, because work there is getting done faster than anticipated.

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Eye On Boise

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