Governor's budget: No money to replace van with urine stench

Posted at 1:05 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 15:05:01-05

BOISE — Lawmakers are questioning a budget request by a state agency that cares for developmentally disabled individuals -- and voiced concern that the governor's budget doesn't replace a 2001 van with a stench of urine that can't be removed.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Services for the Developmentally Disabled made its request Thursday to the Legislature’s budget-setting Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee and sought money to replace the vehicle.

The request for $32.3 million for fiscal year 2020 is about one percent less than the previous year.
Governor Brad Little is recommending slightly more -- but no money for a new van.

Idaho state auditors last week reported that a state-run residential treatment center in Nampa for people with severe disabilities and mental illness is rife with systemic problems, leading to trauma for staffers and residents alike.

Division Administrator Miren Unsworth says the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center has enough staff positions, but has trouble hiring and retaining staff.

(by Associated Press)