The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee approved a Fiscal Year 2006 budget of nearly $473 million for the Idaho Transportation Department.
The appropriation reflects only minor changes and will enable ITD to embark on what Director Dave Ekern describes as “an ambitious agenda for FY06 – one that we believe will position the Idaho Transportation Department for a robust and exciting future.” (See First Friday report, Feb. 4, 2005).
The joint committee, charged with setting the budgets of all state agencies, made only two adjustments, reflecting a decline of about $4.9 million. JFAC reduced the capital outlay by $592,000 and $4.4 million in the department’s proposed Change in Employee Compensation (CEC). The CEC (salary) adjustment includes funding for a 1 percent CEC adjustment and the 27th payroll for FY06. Those items will become part of a separate omnibus bill to be considered at the end of this session.
The adjustment in capital outlay will be applied to the equipment category of Highway Operations.
In his JFAC budget presentation, Ekern indicated that 88 percent of the request would be committed to maintaining and improving the state’s highway system through contract construction, right-of-way acquisition and highway operations.
“This request ‘grows the program,’ maintains our commitment to operations and personnel support, and will continue our move to make ITD a leader in the nation as a 21st Century DOT,” Ekern said before the JFAC session.