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Reductions for arts commission, secretary of state

Reductions for arts commission, secretary of state

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 8, 2010

The Idaho Commission on the Arts and the office of Secretary of State Ben Ysursa would see reductions of 9 percent in budgets set by the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) Monday. The state liquor division, however, would see a slight funding increase coming from the money it takes in on liquor sales.

The Commission on the Arts would get $715,600 in general fund dollars, less than half of its $1.7 million total budget. That would be a 9.1 percent reduction in state funding. The bulk of the arts commission budget comes from federal funding.

“It looks pretty tough,” said Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, about the arts commission’s budget.

“The commission really supports the cultural life of our state,” said Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum. She formerly served as a commissioner for the state agency.

The secretary of state’s budget would be reduced $189,000, or 9.2 percent, to $1.8 million in the next budget year, which begins in July. His office would also get $370,000 to cover costs of this November’s statewide election, with the money coming from a reserve fund. That budget includes a $1,400 pay increase for Ysursa, which would cover the first six months of 2011. State law mandates Ysursa’s raise.

The Idaho State Liquor Division would see a 0.3 percent, $43,600 funding increase in its next budget of $15.6 million. Alcohol sales fund the liquor division budget and provide $45 million to the state. That money is split among the state general fund, cities, and counties, as well as some money for public schools, substance abuse treatment, and service programs.

On Tuesday, JFAC will set the budget for state universities and colleges as well as some divisions of the Department of Health and Welfare. “Tomorrow is some heavy lifting again,” said JFAC co-chair Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome. JFAC is scheduled to finish setting state agency budgets on Friday. Bell called it a “final week of mayhem” for JFAC.

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