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Eye On Boise

Endowment board budget approved - with extra $22M transfer for schools

Among the budgets approved this morning by JFAC were the budget for the Endowment Fund Investment Board for next year - including the transfer of an extra $22 million from the public school earnings reserve fund. There was no discussion, and the vote was unanimous. But earlier in the morning, at a workshop meeting before the JFAC meeting, the sponsor of the budget, Rep. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, said, "This is somewhat a troubling budget to me, the fact that the Land Board allowed $22 million to come out of the earnings reserve. It's putting the whole fund at risk."

The Idaho Land Board, which oversees the state's school endowment, decided only after extensive debate - and on a 3-2 vote - to allocate that extra money for schools next year, at the request of state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna. Luna had actually asked for more than twice as much, $52.8 million, to help ease big budget cuts that are looming for public schools next year. JFAC will set the public school budget a week from Monday.

Eye On Boise

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