The Joint Appropriation-Finance Committee (JFAC) last week approved and forwarded with a “do pass” recommendation an ITD budget of $483,657,200 million for the coming fiscal year. That amount is nearly $20 million less than what Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter proposed as part of the state budget in his January message to the Legislature. Most of the reduction ($18,550,800) came from contract construction to reflect intent of HB 457.
If approved, HB 457 will delay until Fiscal Year 2012 implementation of a law that would remove the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation from the Highway Distribution Account and the Idaho State Police from the distribution formula, explains Budget Analyst Joel Drake.
If the House and Senate approve JFAC’s recommendation, contract construction would be reduced from $278,660,700 to $261,634,300. That likely will result in the deferral of some programmed highway construction projects.
Other important elements of the JFAC-approved budget include the reduction of ITD’s workforce from a complement of 1,833.5 full-time equivalent positions to 1,826.5. Five of the seven positions would come from the Division of Highways and one each would be lost by the divisions of Administration and Motor Vehicles.
The employee reduction will take effect July 1 from vacant positions. It’s not anticipated that any employees would be affected.
No increase in funding was included in the FY 2011 budget for change in employee compensation (salary increases). But the budget would include a two-month insurance holiday for the department. That represents an estimated savings of $2,556,500
JFAC trimmed $128,000 from the budget that had been targeted for software and system maintenance, $58,200 from the DMV’s inflationary adjustment request, and $100,000 for marketing of the North American Trailer Plate program.
The budget committee reduced ITD’s request for replacement equipment by $953,200. No replacement equipment was allowed for the divisions of Administration, Planning, Public Transportation and Aeronautics. A portion of the DMV’s request was approved – $63,000 for equipment to be used in county offices.
The Division of Highway equipment replacement was approved at the level requested ($21,188,400).
ITD’s budget, like those of other state agencies, goes to the House and Senate for final approval.