Moscow lawmaker questions Otter’s structurally-balanced budget claim

Rep. Shirley Ringo

Rep. Shirley Ringo

Idaho Democratic Rep. Shirley Ringo, of Moscow, is questioning Gov. Butch Otter’s claim of a structurally-balanced budget.

Ringo is on the budget-writing committee, which got its first cursory look at Otter’s budget Tuesday.

The Republican governor’s new budget director, Jani Revier, reiterated Otter’s assertion his $2.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2014 is in equilibrium – that ongoing expenditures are paid for with revenue that’s likely to come in the door annually, not with short-term cash.

Ringo argued state employees are leaving for better-paying jobs and there’s a backlog of aging highway infrastructure, challenges she says Otter’s budget does nothing to address.

State financial officer David Fulkerson told her Otter’s budget focuses on his top priorities, leaving too little money for things like raises for state workers in the next year.  (AP)

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