The House Majority Caucus went behind closed doors this afternoon for an hour and a half, concerned about the latest state tax revenue figures and their implications on state budgeting. “What would be nice is to have the crystal ball,” said House Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly. “We don’t know what January is going to look like, we don’t know what April is going to look like.” House Republicans see potential new revenue shortfalls as “a very serious issue,” Roberts said. “I think we’re going to have to lower expenses even beyond what the governor has said in his State of the State address.”
The caucus was concerned about preliminary figures showing an additional $12.6 million shortfall in state tax revenues in December; the final numbers aren’t yet out. But Roberts said the main reason the closed-door caucus went so long was all the “housekeeping” issues that needed reviewing now that lawmakers are back in the newly renovated state Capitol. “Probably the thing that actually took longer than anything was just the discussion about logistics in the building, where the coffee pots are going to go … operation of the microphones - just a lot of housekeeping stuff,” he said. “I had a whole list of issues.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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