We Talk with Speaker of the House
Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney was in Twin Falls this weekend to welcome a newly appointed Representative and to discuss the current issues facing Idaho.
First — Denney discussed the budget as he says it will be challenging for the next few years due to the slowdown in the economy.
Officials are predicting a one percent growth for the economy next year.
Lawerence Denney, Speaker of the House says "We expected the downturn and we dealt with it very wisely last year and hopefully we can continue to do that for the next couple of years."
On the topic of substance abuse programs —– Denney believes they will continue to be well funded.
"I think that we're getting a big bang for the buck in those, probably they will not be funded to where we'd like them with the downturn in the economy."
Another top issue facing Idaho is transportation.
Right now about 38 cents to the dollar pays for the local highway district – county and city maintenance or the use of their highway system.
But Denney says that with issues such as a higher cost of asphalt and gravel for instance – there needs to be more revenue to meet the needs.
"I think we may be looking at a multi–year project to get the revenue that we actually need. I don't think there is anyone out there that wants to raise taxes a lot in a down economy, that's not the prudent way to do it."