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Eye On Boise

Alternative state budget plan would boost schools, leave out tax cuts…

Here’s a link to my full story at on an alternative state budget that was released today, suggesting that Idaho could spend tens of millions more on its public schools, grant raises to teachers and state workers restore cuts to services to poor disabled residents and still balance its budget next year with 10 percent to spare. The plan is based on calculations by the state’s former longtime chief economist, Mike Ferguson, who joined with two former state schools superintendents – Jerry Evans, a Republican, and Marilyn Howard, a Democrat – to propose an alternative state budget that would boost school spending next year by 8.3 percent, instead of Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed 2.9 percent. The three were joined by two members of Otter’s school reform task force, urging lawmakers to consider the plan.

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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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