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In brief: Surplus third in row for Idaho lawmakers

BOISE – Idaho’s state tax revenue came in well ahead of forecasts in June, closing out the fiscal year with a $92.5 million surplus – the state’s third-straight surplus year.

The higher-than- predicted tax revenues triggered legislation sought by Gov. Butch Otter this year to transfer $85.4 million of the year-end balance into the state’s main savings account, the Budget Stabilization Fund. That boosts the total in the account to more than $135 million.

The state’s surplus comes as agencies continue to struggle with years of budget cuts that haven’t been restored. It also follows this week’s news that Idaho got its lowest interest rate ever for its short-term borrowing for the year, largely due to high credit ratings based on fiscally conservative management.

Otter said the state budget shouldn’t grow as fast as the state’s economy, and priority should be placed on refilling reserve funds.

BSU student will challenge Labrador

BOISE – A 23-year-old college student announced Thursday that he’ll run against 1st District Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador in the 2014 Republican primary election.

Michael Greenway, a political science major at Boise State University, said he’ll turn 25 between the primary and general elections, just hitting the minimum age threshold to serve in Congress. He ran for the state Legislature last year, challenging Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, in the Republican primary and collecting 27.5 percent of the vote.

Greenway decried Labrador, a second-term congressman and tea party favorite, as divisive and said if elected, he’d work with all sides.


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