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Sunday, August 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Budget decisions being rethought…

Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, says the first effect of the new federal economic stimulus legislation's passage could be that Idaho doesn't have to make two big transfers from its public  education stabilization fund - one that's in HB 61 and already passed the House, and another that was approved by JFAC on Friday. Both were to protect schools from budget cuts in the current year. But if stimulus money is coming do to just that, Cameron said, "Then it's our desire to hold onto our stabilization monies." Also, the unanimous vote in JFAC on Friday for a 5 percent cut in personnel costs statewide next year - possibly in the form of an across-the-board statewide pay cut, including schools - likely will have to be reconsidered, he said. "The difficulty we're going to have is the stimulus doesn't hit every agency," Cameron said. "It potentially creates a problem of haves and have-nots, and I think there will be some difficulty in that regard."

Lawmakers need to learn more before any decisions are made, he said. "Information is slowly trickling out. We also have to know when we would receive the money. ... We're still trying to analyze everything, we're still trying to analyze the effects, and what can be done and what can't."

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.