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Lawmakers can tap state experts to get grip on Idaho budget

Information is power, and Idaho lawmakers could have more of it this year with a new emphasis on sending non-partisan budget experts to House and Senate committees to explain the numbers in the financial requests of the state agencies they oversee.

Committee chairman meeting Wednesday were encouraged to tap the Legislative Services Office’s Budget and Policy Analysis Division to explain the often complex budget process.

Republican Sen. Steve Bair of Blackfoot is co-chairman of the powerful Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee comprised of lawmakers from both the House and Senate that must ultimately sign off on agency appropriations.

He says the committee he chairs is something of a mystery to many lawmakers and sending budget experts to other committees could help smooth the budgeting process.

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