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Eye On Boise

Looking at costs, budget for second go-round of redistricting…

The Idaho Legislature budgeted $424,000 for redistricting this year, Legislative Services Director Jeff Youtz informed the new redistricting commissioners this morning. About $175,000 of that was spent on hardware, software and preliminary costs. The first commission's 90 days of deliberations, including 14 public hearings and 24 business meetings, cost about $149,000, and that figure included about $60,000 for technical and administrative support. Legislative staffer Keith Bybee warned the new commissioners that if it takes another 90 days, it likely will see a similar cost for technical and administrative support, which would eat up more than half its budget of about $100,000, but if the process is shorter, those costs will be less.

Expenses the first time around included about $20,000 for commissioner compensation; $22,000 for GOP partisan mapping assistants, $18,000 for Democratic partisan mapping assistants; and $27,000 for travel, hotel and per diem.

Youtz said, “There's about $100,000 left, which I think is adequate for the commission to get the job done. We will cover you regardless.” If necessary, Youtz said, the Legislature will go to the state Board of Examiners for permission to spend more.

Bybee said the commission is required to hold meetings around the state, and could take advantage of the Idaho Education Network to link five locations around the state to the Capitol for one big hearing, in addition to holding meetings in different parts of the state.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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