Rep. Dennis Lake, chairman of the House Rev & Tax Committee, has moved to approve the governor's recommendation for 2012 revenues, then a figure for fiscal 2013 that's a 4.5 percent increase over that at $2.667 billion - $33.3 million short of the governor's figure for next year. Rep. Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, seconded the motion, and it passed on a 15-3 vote. The three "no" votes came from Sens. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, and Curt McKenzie, R-Caldwell, and Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot.
Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise, said he thought it made sense to accept the governor's figure for the current year, since it was so close to committee members' estimates, and then to "split the difference" between the committee's median estimate and the governor's figure for 2013. That's what passed.
Keough said she voted "no" because she favored a lower figure. "I just think it's great that there is so much optimism, but in the rural parts of the state we still have double-digit unemployment," she said. Keough said she wants to make sure the Legislature sets "a budget we can realistically deliver."