By ROBERT S. MERRILL
The 2014 session of the Idaho Legislature will kick off this Monday, Jan. 6, in Boise with the State of the State address by Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter and his budget projection.
“We will have three main topics to deal with this year. One will be the budget and how to deal with a surplus. Another will be the impact of health care laws/medicaid and the third will be personal property taxes on business and industry,” said Marc Gibbs, Franklin County’s representative, who lives in Grace.
Gibbs said Idaho is expected to have between a 4 and 4.5 percent budget surplus when the year ends and the additional monies will allow a few things to be done.
The current budget is $2.808 billion. The Governor’s proposed budget will be $2.897 billion, a 3.5 percent increase, according to Gibbs. The actual budget will be set by the Legislature after figures go through a Revenue Forecast Committee and the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee.
“The wish list for the additional monies is like a letter to Santa,” he said. “It’s long and is getting longer. The Legislature is going to have to use discretion. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. We can’t begin to fund all the requests.
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