Friday, April 9, 2010

Legislators to hold town meetings

Jaquet, Pence and Stennett to hold forums in District 25

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County residents will get the opportunity to speak with their state representatives about the recently adjourned 2010 Legislature through a series of town meetings starting next week.

Reps. Donna Pence, D-Gooding, and Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, along with Michelle Stennett, standing in for her husband, Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, will hold a slate of meetings throughout the county, as well as in Gooding, Hagerman, Richfield, Wendell and Fairfield.

The goal of the meetings is to bring the constituents of District 25, which includes Blaine, Camas, Gooding and Lincoln counties, up to date on what took place at the Capitol between January and April.

Jaquet, a member of the influential Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, largely responsible for the state's budget and determining how tax dollars are spent, had a challenging winter helping to create a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

With the committee, and the rest of the lawmakers, approving a $2.38 billion general funds budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, the state is looking at a significant reduction from the budget approved during last year's session.

The current fiscal year remains in flux as well, with the approval of a reduced budget of $2.28 billion, down from the original $2.5 billion. However, if revenues continue to fall below projected levels, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter could be forced to dip into funding sources needed for next year to balance the current budget.

If necessary, the state could dip into reserves and remaining stimulus money, but that could create difficulties with the upcoming fiscal year.

For more information on the town meetings, contact Jaquet at 726-3100.

Jon Duval:

Blaine County-area meetings

· Wednesday, April 14:

Hailey Chamber of Commerce, Hailey, 8 a.m.

· Friday, April 16:

Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau, Ketchum, 8 a.m.

Fairfield Senior Center, Fairfield, 12:30 p.m.

· Wednesday, April 21:

Old Blaine County Courthouse, Hailey, 9:30 a.m.

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