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Report: Drafting error shorts Idaho $27.5M for road projects

January 10, 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A legislative drafting error will cost the Idaho Transportation Department $27.5 million in funding for road projects, and Gov. Butch Otter’s budget proposal doesn’t seek to mend the error, a newspaper reported.

Idaho lawmakers passed a “surplus-eliminator” bill last year to divide any year-end surplus between the state’s rainy-day savings fund and the department’s fund for road projects, The Spokesman-Review reported .

A drafting error caused the amount intended for the department to not be transferred, so the department’s Strategic Initiatives Fund didn’t receive the $27.5 million.

During a briefing to the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, Jani Revier, Otter’s budget director, told lawmakers the governor is not going to back the transfer.

“The governor does not support general fund for roads,” Revier said. “He has had a long-standing position on this. He is not going to recommend a general fund transfer.”

Committee members Sen. Shawn Keough and Rep. Maxine Bell questioned Revier. Keough said the bill pledged that funding, so it needs to be accounted for some way.

“That bill passed, and so there’s this commitment in law that we share that surplus money in the way that was envisioned by that bill. So we’ll have to account for that someplace else,” Keough said.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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