Budget bills have been flying through both houses today, most of them passing with only a couple of dissenting votes and little or no debate. The House today has passed appropriations for the legislative branch, the Division of Financial Management, health education programs including the WWAMI medical education program, the State Independent Living Council, the lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general, and more. The Senate has passed the budget bills for Idaho Public TV, the Commission on Hispanic Affairs (which drew 10 “no” votes), the Catastrophic Health Care program, pieces of the Health & Welfare budget including psychiatric hospitalization and services for the developmentally disabled, and for the Department of Commerce, the Department of Labor and others.
The House has actually finished its calendar, though some bills were held; it’s now adjourned until tomorrow. Before adjourning, House Speaker Scott Bedke announced that Rep. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, twisted her ankle severely today and is at St. Luke’s hospital. “She’s going to be fine, although … I think there’s some orthopedic surgery probably in her future, and she’s very disappointed that she couldn’t be here today,” he said.
The Senate bogged down a bit on the debate over the budget for the state Liquor Division, which includes no state general funds; it ended up passing handily, 32-2. The Senate also passed SB 1408, to double the cap on the Budget Stabilization Fund, the state’s main rainy-day savings account, from 5 percent of the budget to 10 percent, on a 30-5 vote. The Senate has now recessed until 4 p.m.