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Eye On Boise

Keough: Shortfall is what rainy-day funds are for, also look at cuts

Here's the reaction of Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, vice chairwoman of the Legislature's joint budget committee, to the new state revenue forecast showing a $151 million shortfall this year, while the state has $274 million left in rainy-day funds:

"It's obvious that Idahoans aren't doing very well, and so we need to set up clear priorities for the services that we deliver and make some hard decisions from there. ... Thankfully we have some rainy-day funds that we can tap into, and that was part of our thinking, that we shouldn't spend them all, and save us some so that we could continue trying to cushion the need for cuts. And so in that respect, our forecasting on the legislative side and the planning on both the legislative and the governor's part was sound. I think that that's what the rainy-day funds were there for, that's why we left them on the table, to cushion us against further downturns, so I think that we certainly need to discuss that, and again prioritize where we use them. ... They're definitely on the table. We also may need to take a serious look at what services Idahoans feel they can do without, if we have to start shutting things down."

Eye On Boise

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