Idaho lawmakers have signed off on adding more than $7.7 million to the current state budget to pay for fire fighting, pest control, and hazardous waste cleanup.
The additional funding is part of yearly deficiency warrants, which are payments for services from July 2008 to June 2009. The state promises to pay the costs, but doesn’t appropriate the money until expenses come in. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) approved the spending without a single no vote. The bulk of that money, $7.2 million, is for fire suppression efforts.
“These are to pay the bills for the fires that were fought,” Sandpoint Republican Sen. Shawn Keough, said.
JFAC approved $456,700 for the Department of Agriculture’s pest control and surveying expenses. That amount is higher than in past years because of $280,000 going to prevent aquatic invasive species such as the quagga mussels from coming to Idaho. The committee also signed off on $67,600 to cover costs of cleanup of hazardous materials.
In other action on Thursday, JFAC approved spending federal stimulus dollars on programs like retrofitting diesel school busses and garbage trucks.
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