Rep. Marc Gibbs, R-Grace, co-chairman of the joint Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee, said the committee’s recommendation will go to JFAC, which will make the final decisions on budgeting for next year. “The numbers are so close that it really doesn’t make any difference in a three and a half billion-dollar budget, to be within $17 million,” Gibbs said, after Sen. Cliff Bayer moved to adopt the governor’s recommendation, and Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, seconded the motion.
With that, the roll was called, and it came out 17-1, with just Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, dissenting. Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, who had the lowest estimate for state revenue on the panel both last year and this year, paused before saying “aye” with what sounded like reluctance. But that was it; the governor’s recommendation was approved. Perry had the fourth-lowest estimate among the committee members. You can see all their estimates, along with the governor’s and the median, online here.
Perry said afterward that she would have been more comfortable with the committee median figure for fiscal year 2017, which was slightly lower than the governor's; the committee median was actually higher than the governor's for fiscal 2018. She cited the current extreme weather conditions, impacts on farm commodities, and the uncertainty of a new administration in Washington, D.C. "I just would've been more comfortable with the lower number, not that we really have a large spread," she said.