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Eye On Boise

Fulcher: ‘We will make someone mad’

Idaho Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian (Betsy Russell)
Idaho Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian (Betsy Russell)

Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, the Senate majority caucus chairman, told the ATI conference just now that lawmakers this year will be looking at difficult budget cuts in the very areas where people most don't want them - education and health services. "Everything is on the table," he said. "The one thing I will guarantee you is we will make someone mad." He said much of Idaho's state budget goes to education and health and welfare. "The overall budget forecast is more than 20 percent less than what we budgeted against 18 months ago. ... Folks, you have to touch education, and you have to touch health services. It simply is mathematical."

He also said to expect talk of consolidating or merging state agencies, such as the Commission on Aging and the Hispanic Commission, and about consolidating some of Idaho's 113 school districts. But he doesn't foresee a tax increase. "I just do not see the collective appetite," Fulcher said. "I just don't see it happening."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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