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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

What it means…

The joint Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee's decision today to set a revenue figure for next year that's $33.3 million below the governor's estimate could have a variety of impacts. House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, noted that state chief economist Derek Santos advised watching how the next month's worth of numbers come in. “JFAC's not going to start setting hard budgets here for another month,” Bedke said. “If by then, things are still positive,” the joint budget committee might choose to “bump things up at that point, and if it turns south like it did last year,” the committee could choose to budget below the amount.

Among the spending priorities in the governor's budget proposal that could change, depending on lawmakers' decisions: The $45 million identified for unspecified tax cuts; the $60 million designated to refill rainy-day funds; and the $41 million in conditional one-time bonuses for state employees in lieu of raises, to be given only if state revenues meet targets.

Said Bedke, “He's put his deal out there. We'll return serve and see what happens.”

In some ways, today's decision was a sign of optimism from lawmakers; if they'd stuck with their median figure based on what each committee member had estimated and turned in before today's meeting, they'd have taken another $28 million off the table for next year.

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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