What happened last week, what's scheduled for this week in the Idaho Legislature

Idaho Falls Post RegisterJanuary 12, 2014 

LAST WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

State of the State: Gov. Butch Otter’s 37-minute address Monday outlined plans for education reforms and budget proposals for fiscal year 2015. He proposed stashing $71 million in the state’s rainy-day funds, spending about $54.7 million to implement some of the 20 recommendations from his Task Force for Education and rejecting Medicaid expansion in the state for at least one year.

Wolves: Otter proposed $2 million to start a Wolf Control Fund and corresponding state board. Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, said the proposal would further efforts to reduce the state’s wolf population. GOP gubernatorial challenger Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, said Otter’s plan would create “another bureaucracy” to manage the animals.

Revenue: The Legislature’s Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to go along with Otter’s revenue estimates of more than $2.8 billion for the 2014 budget year and more than $2.9 billion for 2015. That’s a major step legislators must take before tackling the state’s general fund in the weeks ahead.

State workers: The Change in Employee Compensation Committee on Friday approved a motion to recommend funding a 2 percent raise in two steps. Idaho has paid one 2 percent raise for state employees in the past five years.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee: Budget hearings are scheduled for Idaho’s health-related agencies and divisions : the Division of Medicaid, the Division of Welfare and Public Health Districts, among others.

For the complete agenda, go to legislature. idaho.gov/sessioninfo/agenda.htm

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