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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Water quality monitoring would be funded, but just on one-time basis

Wayne Hammon, Gov. Butch Otter's budget chief, is fielding questions now about the governor's budget proposal from legislative budget writers. Among them: Whether water quality monitoring is funded in the Department of Environmental Quality in 2012. The answer: Yes, but it's funded on a one-time basis through a fund shift. Hammon said the department is "very concerned" about where that leaves the program in 2013, "and so are we."

Another question focused on whether state agencies may hand out salary increases from savings in their budget, even though the budget provides no funding for raises. That answer, too, was yes. "The governor has not instituted a hiring freeze or a salary freeze," Hammon said. "The governor has entrusted his cabinet members to make those decisions on a case-by-case basis. So while we're not providing money for a CEC, if the department has the money, or decided that within their appropriation can make room for that, they can move forward."

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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