Mon., Feb. 23, 2015
JFAC votes 19-1 to make up shortfall in fund for inaugural
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee is handling supplemental appropriations, budget requests for adjustments in the current budget year, this morning, as it prepares to begin setting agency budgets for next year tomorrow. Among the supplemental requests was one from the Idaho Military Division for inauguration expenses. The public inaugural ceremonies on the Capitol steps and the public Inaugural Ball in the Capitol rotunda, held every four years and organized by the Military Division, is intended to be funded entirely by ball ticket sales. This year, however, ticket sales fell short of the full cost.
The inaugural ceremonies themselves cost $25,504. The ball cost $27,204. Ball ticket sales, at $25 per ticket, brought in $28,100, and the fund had a carry-over balance from past events of $4,286. That left a shortfall of $20,322; so Gov. Butch Otter recommended a $25,000 supplemental appropriation to make that up and replenish the fund to roughly where it stood before this year’s events.
There was a short pause after legislative budget analyst Richard Burns presented the numbers. “I didn’t realize that we had such a party,” said JFAC Co-Chair Maxine Bell, R-Jerome. Then she added, “It was a beautiful event. I appreciate living in a country where we can do that.” Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, countered, “I’m all in favor of a party and I appreciated the inauguration. But I’m going to vote against this. I don’t think taxpayers should be paying for this.” The supplemental appropriation then passed on a 19-1 vote.