Eye On Boise

JFAC accepts revenue report, not numbers

Rep. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, right, and Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, left, present the report of the Legislature's joint revenue committee to legislative budget writers on Wednesday. JFAC accepted the report, but not the numbers - making no commitment as to what figures it'll use to set the state budget. By the time the budget panel starts setting budgets in late February, the state may have more revenue figures from January that aren't yet available. (Betsy Russell)
Rep. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, right, and Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, left, present the report of the Legislature's joint revenue committee to legislative budget writers on Wednesday. JFAC accepted the report, but not the numbers - making no commitment as to what figures it'll use to set the state budget. By the time the budget panel starts setting budgets in late February, the state may have more revenue figures from January that aren't yet available. (Betsy Russell)

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has received the report and recommendation from the Joint Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee, and voted unanimously to accept the report - which doesn't mean it's accepting that panel's numbers for the state budget. "The process this morning is for us to accept the report," said Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. "That does not mean that we're adopting the report or adopting any number at this stage." He then moved to accept the report, and the motion passed unanimously. Rep. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, said the volatility of the current economy "makes this very hard to predict." Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, said, "It is a concern, because it would mean severe cuts to programs that may not be necessary. ... If we send the wrong messages to the people of Idaho, if we frankly make errors in the way that we budget and the way that we manage this year, that could be very dire. ... It think it's really a good thing that we have the opportunity to take the numbers as they come and adjust as needed."

The revenue panel recommended numbers $69 million below the governor's budget figures for the current year, and $59 lower for next year. If those figures were used to set the state budget, millions in additional cuts would be needed beyond what Gov. Butch Otter already has proposed.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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