Boise, ID - Idaho lawmakers are cautiously optimistic that next fiscal year could be one without budget cuts. That optimism goes all the way to the governor's office.
Idaho governor Butch Otter says he doesn’t expect any holdbacks this fiscal year.
Butch Otter “We are in a good fiscal picture right now. We ended up this last fiscal year with a surplus and I would anticipate that so long as we don’t let government grow at the same rate the economy grows, we’ll continue to enjoy modest surpluses.”
That doesn’t mean Otter will change the conservative approach he’s taken on budgeting the last few years. Otter has encouraged lawmakers to set the budget below projections from the state’s economist for the past two legislative sessions. That has brought him criticism from some lawmakers and praise from others. Otter says he doesn't see tremendous economic growth in Idaho yet. So he'll propose a budget accordingly.
Butch Otter “We’ve got a lot of good things that are happening and are going to happen. But I just don’t see the six percent or seven percent growth that some people are suggesting we’re going to see.”
Idaho’s most recent economic forecast from the state's economist predicts growth this year followed by modest gains down the road.