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Eye On Boise

Unanimous votes on several agency budgets…

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.

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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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