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For My Constituency:

The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) met this morning and voted on FY 2010 and FY 2011′s budget proposals. JFAC agreed to set FY 2010 at $2.28 billion and FY 2011 at $2.29 billion. These numbers are the exact same numbers that were proposed by the Joint Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee but below the Governor’s Proposal by $69 million. I supported these budget projections and hope that we are able to meet these revenue numbers.

Idaho is one of 11 finalists to bring the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to our state. Being selected could bring upwards of 3000 jobs to the state! The economic impact of being selected is immense and would guarantee the Air Forces continued existence in this state for the next 40 years. We have been the home of military aviation for over 60 years and we need to continue to show our support. We need to show our support through writing letters to the Air Force, filling out the “I support the F-35 in Idaho” postcards, and letting your local representatives know your thoughts. This is a joint effort between State, Congressional, and Business leaders alike and we need the support of the public as well.

With the never-ending talk about how bad the recession is and how many cuts are being made throughout the state I believe that many people lose sight of some of the great things our state is doing. Idaho compared to many other states is doing very well considering the current times. While some states are selling their public buildings in order to keep their heads above water Idaho has retained a very positive business climate. Even throughout this recession, we have not raised our taxes and we continue to be an attractive location to start, or run, a business. As well as a positive business atmosphere in the state we have been making strides in our Corrections Department also. We have decreased our overall incarcerated population over the last year. The Department of Correction Director, Brent Reinke, has been working closely with the legislature in order to improve efficiency and responsibility throughout his department.

You can monitor legislation on the web at www.legislature.idaho.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any ideas or concerns you may have. It is an honor to serve you and I will do my best to represent your suggestions. If you would like to be added to our contact list please email me at dmortimer@senate.idaho.gov.