Legislative budget chief Cathy Holland-Smith ran through all the numbers and said under current estimates, if the state were to cover all its nondiscretionary adjustments in next year's budget and all supplemental budget requests, assuming a conservative 3 percent revenue growth, “You would have $77 million after you paid for those items and used all of your revenue … for all those great line items and enhancements that are out there.” She said, “Well, how much did agencies ask for? They asked for $142 million. … So there's positive to this, but there's also a sense of caution.”
Nevertheless, it's a budget situation that calls for deciding which additional items to fund or how to allocate additional revenue - rather than what to cut further. Said Holland-Smith: “This looks pretty good, doesn't it? It looks a lot better than it has.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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