Gov. Dirk Kempthornes Fiscal Year 2005 budget recommendation
for the Idaho Transportation Department was unanimously endorsed
by the Legislatures Joint Appropriations and Finance
Committee last week.
The combined House and Senate committee approved the $426
million ITD spending request without debate or changes Friday
(Feb. 13) and forwarded it to floors of both chambers. The
emerging budget then will advance to the governor for final
The budget process was very straight forward and reflects
good analysis, forecasting and planning on the part of all
the entities the transportation department, the governor
and the Legislature, said Julie Pipal, manager of ITDs
Budget, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations office.
It is important to note that the proposed ITD budget
is very close to our anticipated revenue and is in line with
the directors goal for fiscal stewardship.
Rep. Scott Bedke (R-Oakley) complimented ITD for the merit
program it implemented in January and said he would share
it with the House leadership.
Quick passage by JFAC reflects positively on the message
presented by Transportation Board Chair Charles Winder, ITD
Director Dave Ekern and division administrators on Feb. 5.
In that 90-minute session, Ekern outlined what legislators
and Idaho citizens can expect for their investment in the
The FY05 budget request will enable the department to manage
a transportation system that supports Idahos economic
health, improves program and service delivery, improves safety
and security, and enhances system operations.
We believe that the budget proposal thats before
you takes that next step in the journey to the vision that
all citizens are articulating for the next 30 years,
Ekern told JFAC members during the budget presentation. And
it helps us to meet the potential of a transportation system
that has not yet been fully realized throughout the state.
For a review of ITDs Feb. 5 budget presentation click