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Sunday, September 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Analysis: Idaho state budget could take big hits under Trump proposal

In Idaho, the Trump budget proposal unveiled today, if enacted, would mean big hits to the state budget, from health care to education, according to an analysis by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy.

Lauren Necochea, director of the center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that analyzes state fiscal issues, said, “This proposed budget includes historically unprecedented cost shifts to the states and unprecedented cuts to essential public services that working Idahoans rely on to make ends meet. The tax cuts for the wealthy come at a huge cost to children, seniors, Idahoans with disabilities, and community investments that benefit all of us.”

She said the biggest hits to Idaho’s state budget would come in health care and the state’s continuing effort to restore education funding that was cut during the recession.

Idaho’s Medicaid program would lose $1 billion over the next 10 years just from the cuts in the House-passed health care bill, the American Health Care Act. The Trump budget proposal includes those cuts to Medicaid, which total $839 billion over 10 years, plus $627 billion in additional Medicaid cuts, Necochea said.

In addition, she said, Trump’s proposed 20 percent cut to the Children’s Health Insurance Program would mean Idaho would lose about $15 million of the $75.5 million it now receives each year to cover low-income children.

Niki Forbing-Orr, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, said, “We are watching it very closely, but it’s still really early in the process, so we just don’t have enough detail to predict what the impact will be at this point.” She noted that Congress will make the final calls.

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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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