As members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee began digging through Gov. Butch Otter’s budget proposal this morning, Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, questioned how Otter can say the budget is structurally balanced when it doesn’t address state employee pay that lags behind market rates and a backlog of deferred maintenance and infrastructure needs, including aging highway bridges.
Jani Revier, the governor’s new budget chief, told JFAC that the governor’s budget targets one-time funds to “critical replacement and capital needs,” including computers and cars. You can see her PowerPoint presentation here.
DFM staffer David Fulkerson said, “The governor is still committed to state employees, but we just didn’t get there this year on that item.” The governor’s chief economist, Derek Santos, said, “Our forecast … is based on the economy recovering gradually.”