Next year, the state will make its final payment on the bonds that paid for renovating the state Capitol; the $20.1 million annual payments for seven years are being covered by cigarette tax funds. “The $20 million bond payments will be ending in fiscal year 2015,” Jeff Youtz of the Capitol Commission told legislative budget writers this morning. After that, the money “by statute, goes back into an economic recovery reserve fund.” However, he noted, lawmakers at that point could direct it elsewhere if they so chose.
Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, co-chair of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, said, “It’s been a beautiful experience to be back in a building that looks like this one – and works.” Amid laughter, she said, “Now the wiring works, and everything flushes.”
The bonds were initially authorized for up to $130 million, then revised downward. The 18-month project was completed on time and $1 million under budget, Youtz said.