State leaders prepare for federal cuts
There's no doubt that Idaho could suffer if lawmakers in Washington don't make a deal before major federal cutbacks kick-in. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
There's no doubt that Idaho could suffer if lawmakers in Washington don't make a deal before major federal cutbacks kick-in.
Governor Butch Otter was in DC to discuss the possibilities earlier this week.
"There was a stack of papers and on the first sheet of paper told me the sequestration of the $85 billion was going to cost me $20 million," he said.
That's 20 million dollars in cuts to the state; something for which state budget writers say, they're trying to plan.
"We've sort of looked at multiple alternatives, and we're trying to be prepared and plan for the future," says JFAC co-chairman Sen. Dean Cameron.
To plan for the future, the state will try to pool as much money as possible, and if the federal cuts do begin, there will be more options.
"We either may leave some additional money at the governor's discretion, to handle some of those situations, or we may suggest that he call a special session," Cameron says.
But those are eventualities lawmakers say they’re trying avoid.
“If it's more devastating than anticipated, then it could force the governor into holdbacks or other situations. We hope it doesn't go that far, " says Cameron.
For now, the Senator says the plan is to get a budget accepted and make sure the state has the funding to operate.
"The best thing we can do is to move forward, set a budget at a conservative level, leave as much money on the table as we possibly can, and get out of town," Cameron says.