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Eye On Boise

Fri., Jan. 28, 2011, 12:09 p.m.

JFAC co-chairs: ‘It’s extremely painful’

Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, and Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, co-chairs of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, talk with reporters after their four-hour hearing Friday on health and welfare spending. Cameron said it's
Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, and Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, co-chairs of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, talk with reporters after their four-hour hearing Friday on health and welfare spending. Cameron said it's "extremely painful" to consider cuts in programs for the disabled. (Betsy Russell)

JFAC Co-Chairs Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, and Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, were clearly affected by the outpouring of input that close to a thousand people brought to the Statehouse today on Health and Welfare funding, with most pleading for the state to avoid cuts in services to the disabled. "It's extremely painful," Cameron said. He said those who testified were thoughtful, and pointed not just to problems but also to their ideas on potential solutions. Said Bell, "It was democracy at its finest."

Cameron said hearing from the public was "a first step" in the state's process of deciding what to do. Now, the House and Senate health and welfare committees, both of whose chairman and some members sat through the four-hour hearing today, will look at how to change Idaho's system to fit its funding. Said Bell, "I am always grateful to put a face with a number. ... That face will always be before me."




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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