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Eye On Boise

Dems expect ‘a strong split’ on school funding

Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise, the House minority caucus chair, talks about an hour-long closed caucus House Democrats held on Friday to discuss school funding. The Democrats are expecting a
Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise, the House minority caucus chair, talks about an hour-long closed caucus House Democrats held on Friday to discuss school funding. The Democrats are expecting a "strong split' in JFAC on Monday between supporters of the plan outlined by JFAC co-chairs, and backers of an even lower budget for schools. (Betsy Russell)

House Democrats went behind closed doors for an hour-long caucus today, and afterward, Caucus Chair Bill Killen, D-Boise, reported that the upcoming school budget vote on Monday dominated the discussion. "I guess I'd call it the 'low-ball budget,' and there's a possibility that an even lower budget may come forward, is what we're hearing from some of the JFAC members," Killen said. "Right now, we have a strong feeling that neither one of those budgets can pass without our support on JFAC. Even though we don't have a lot of votes, we think there'll be a strong split."

Killen said his caucus was divided over whether it was better to support the "low-ball" plan outlined to JFAC by the joint committee's co-chairs after extensive meetings with education stakeholders, or to hold out for more for schools. Killen said he's in the hold-out camp, favoring "a more realistic revenue forecast," which could be accomplished, he said, by adding tax auditors to bring in more already-owed state tax revenue, deferring a grocery tax credit increase and deferring the effective date for election consolidation. "We can do better," he said.



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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