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Eye On Boise archive for March 4, 2011

FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2011

From left, Betsy Russell, Jim Weatherby, Corey Taule and host Greg Hahn discuss the legislative events of the week on Friday's "Idaho Reports" program on Idaho Public Television. (Idaho Public Television / Kevin Rank)

The week that was...

On tonight's “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television, I join Jim Weatherby, Corey Taule, and host Greg Hahn to discuss the events of the week, and Greg interviews Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, and airs footage of state schools Supt. Tom Luna addressing…

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The funding trend... 

The higher education appropriation set this morning by JFAC, $209.8 million in state general funds, is the lowest in 11 years, when the fiscal year 2000 appropriation was $202 million. Twenty-one years ago, in 1990, the state's appropriation for colleges and universities was 14.9 percent…

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Capitol renovation wins national architectural award 

The Idaho state capitol renovation project has won a national award, the "Design Matters" award for 2010 from the American Institute of Architects. "After a century of service, use, and countless modifications which eroded the historical character of the building and grounds, the Idaho State…

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Bare-bones budget set for community colleges

JFAC has set a bare-bones budget for the state's community colleges, calling for a 3.9 percent cut in their state general funds and a 5.6 percent cut in total funds. None of the community colleges' requests for funding, including those to cover enrollment increases, are…

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Sen. Dean Mortimer, front right, made the successful motion for higher education funding in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday morning; it cuts state general funds by 3.5 percent, but reflects an overall increase of 5 percent in total funds. (Betsy Russell)

Mortimer motion passes

First, Rep. Shirley Ringo's motion on the higher ed budget failed on a 4-16 straight party-line vote, with only the four Democrats on JFAC supporting it. Then, Sen. Dean Cameron's substitute motion failed on a 9-11 vote. Finally, Sen. Dean Mortimer's original motion passed on…

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Ringo: Higher ed isn't 'doing just fine'

"I know that universities have borne a heavier burden than other entities," said JFAC Co-Chair Dean Cameron. "That's not because want them to. ... They are much more able to adapt and work through this than any of the other agencies we are setting budgets…

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'Give Rep. Ringo credit for creativity'

Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, said of Rep. Shirley Ringo's proposal for higher ed funding, "This $25 million was put in from the general fund, and that was kind of an unofficial settlement of the schools lawsuit. The intention is certainly honorable. ... But ... in…

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'Whining and sniveling' vs 'advocacy'...

JFAC Co-Chair Dean Cameron said the joint committee's goal is to balance the budget, but members understand that some areas of the state budget can't take further cuts - including corrections, Idaho State Police, the judicial branch and ag research. "In my opinion ... we…

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Members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee work on setting the budget for the state Department of Administration on Friday morning. (Betsy Russell)

Admin budget approved with deeper cuts 

JFAC has voted 19-0 to set a budget for the state Department of Administration for next year that includes a 5.5 percent cut in its state general funds, and an 11.7 percent cut overall. Gov. Butch Otter had proposed just a 1.2 percent cut in…

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The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, at its early-morning briefing on Friday, discusses higher education budgets. In the foreground are co-chairs Maxine Bell, left, and Dean Cameron, right; legislative budget analyst Paul Headlee is presenting the figures to the joint committee. (Betsy Russell)

Big decisions loom on higher ed funding... 

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has big decisions coming up this morning, as it sets the higher education budgets - those for the state's colleges and universities and community colleges. The pressure is on to make deeper cuts, because thus far, the budgets JFAC has set…

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Eye On Boise

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