By a 16-4 vote, JFAC supported the 6.4% ($2.987 billion) revenue projection for FY 2015 presented by Governor Butch Otter and the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee. JFAC will now use this baseline figure to put together the state budget. Over the past few years, public schools have received roughly 47% of state revenue.
Senator Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, introduced a substitute motion that would have utilized a 4.6% growth figure. That motion was voted down by a 13-7 margin. Senator Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, pushed for an even lower number, 3.2%. That motion was defeated 15-5.
The committee also supported 2% pay raises for state employees, with 1% in ongoing funding and 1% in one-time bonuses. The governor’s budget proposal did not include compensation increases for teachers, but State Superintendent Tom Luna and several legislators have called for teachers to receive raises. Testimony on public school budget issues will take place on Thursday, with March 3 tentatively set for public school budget setting by JFAC.
JFAC also unanimously approved $238,000 in pay raises for elected officials.