December numbers already behind forecast

Wayne Hammon, Gov. Otter's chief budget officer, just told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that the very preliminary revenue numbers for December are $13 million behind forecast.  If those numbers prove correct, that would mean the state needs to make that up before July 1 in addition to the $40 million holdback that Otter proposed Monday.

Other highlights from Hammon's presentation to JFAC:

 • The state has submitted a waiver to the federal government to use stimulus money because the state has fallen below the 2006 baseline on higher education in its 2011 budget forecast, thus violating the "maintenance of effort" requirement in the stimulus law. Because higher education's percentage of the budget is higher and because the percentage of money spent on higher ed and public schools is higher, the state was able to submit a waiver.

 "The federal waiver will not help higher ed. It helps the state of Idaho not be in violation of stimulus requirement," Hammon said.

Could it be the governor was

Could it be the governor was correct in his restraint for the rest of this fiscal year? You betcha.

Looks like the Gov.'s

Looks like the Gov.'s smarter than people, including myself, have given him credit for!