Idaho's budget writers are getting closer to setting a new spending plan for Fiscal Year 2013 by setting a target—$2.667 billion—representing a 4.5 percent increase from the current fiscal year. Beginning next week, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee will back into that number.
Ironically, JFAC's Democratic representatives argued on Friday for the committee to lean closer to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's proposed target of $2.7 billion, but to no avail. Ultimately, JFAC voted along party lines to approve the $2.667 figure.
The proposed spending plan is expected to include a 2 percent pay increase for state employees that aren't eligible for merit-based pay bonuses.