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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

JFAC to make 2010 budget calls Friday

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday will "re-balance" the fiscal year 2010 budget - the state budget for the current year - by imposing cuts, transferring money from reserve funds, and more, dealing with every agency in state government. "We'll make the additional reductions that we need, plug the holes that need to be plugged," said Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert. "There'll be an omnibus recission motion, and then an omnibus restoration motion that restores some dollars to some agencies. Of course, the biggest one, the biggest beneficiary in that shift is public schools." JFAC members have been working on a plan to spare K-12 public schools from any further budget cuts in the current year - that plan will be debated at Friday morning's meeting.

As things gear up toward Friday, both the House and Senate Republicans held closed-door caucuses today and talked about the budget, though the meetings were relatively brief, with the Senate GOP caucusing for about 40 minutes, and the House GOP for just 10 minues. "We're trying to get everybody in the mindset of what the budget reductions actually mean in the form of policy, what it's going to take and what it means to different programs," said House GOP Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly.

On Monday, JFAC will begin setting budgets for next year, with dedicated-fund agencies going first. The budget for public schools is scheduled to be set a week from Monday.

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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