There were unanimous votes in JFAC this morning on the budgets for the Division of Building Safety, state lottery, and endowment fund investment board; none include any state general funds, and none added funding for raises for state employees. In the building safety budget, Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, proposed the successful budget motion that marks a 2.5 percent decrease; he said he worked with the division, and cut $500,000 and 10 positions that currently aren’t being used, to bring the appropriation more in line with what the agency actually is spending.
A similar proposal passed unanimously for the Office of Energy Resources, which is seeing a 46 percent cut in its overall funding, largely because of the end of federal stimulus funds the office had been spending. “The lack of a stable ongoing source of revenue is an issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible,” said Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, who made the successful budget motion. It matches the governor’s recommendation. However, when it came to Eskridge's proposal to allow the office to carry over the final $20,000 to $30,000 in stimulus funds to finish up those projects in fiscal year 2014, two JFAC members objected; that move then passed on an 18-2 vote, with Sens. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, and Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, objecting.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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