Burley Republican Rep. Fred Wood worked on two key budget proposals that emerged this week in the Idaho Legislature. He added several paragraphs to the public schools budget set Wednesday by the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) that would allow any school district in Idaho to declare a financial emergency. That move would let any district reopen negotiations with teachers over salaries and benefits. Wood also worked on the Medicaid budget JFAC set Thursday, which instructs the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and Gov. Butch Otter to find $42 million in savings to the state-run health care program for low-income children and adults and people with disabilities and other special needs.
Wood spoke with IdahoReporter.com about his work on both budgets. He said schools need the flexibility that comes with declaring a financial emergency.
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