Bonds Approved For Two New Idaho National Lab Buildings

Mar 29, 2017

The Idaho House approved $90 million in bonds to construct two new buildings at the Idaho Falls complex.

A majority of lawmakers in the Idaho House came out in favor of issuing $90 million in bonds to construct new facilities at the Idaho National Lab.

After vigorous debate Tuesday night, House members voted 56-14 in favor of issuing the bonds for construction of a cybersecurity training center and a facility that will house a supercomputer.

Before yesterday, the proposal had never faced opposition from lawmakers. However, the Idaho House delayed a hearing on the bill in an effort to use it as a bargaining chip in a dispute between that chamber and the Senate over tax cuts and transportation.

The Post Register reports that with transportation passing in the House earlier in the day, legislators allowed the INL bill to get a vote.

The bonds will last two decades; INL will lease the new buildings from the state for 15 years and remain after that period. Not a single penny of taxpayer money will go towards the buildings, which will actually bring funds into state coffers by way of INL’s lease payments.

Since the bonds were authorized in a concurrent resolution, they don’t need the governor’s signature, meaning the INL facilities can proceed.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio