ID budget panel spurns Otter, votes for $15M in drug treatment

Boise, Id


By Gina Jameson


BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Legislative budget writers spurned Gov. C.L.
``Butch'' Otter by giving nearly $15 million to the Office of Drug
Policy to continue with substance abuse prevention.

Otter had asked for just $3.5 million, saying more wasn't
merited because data hadn't been collected to show the
three-year-old Access to Recovery program was effective.

Following Monday's unanimous vote in the Joint
Finance-Appropriations Committee, Otter said the panel was funding
drug treatment on the backs of state workers. They got a 3 percent
raise, when he'd asked for 5 percent.

But state budget leaders say the money is going to the right

Representative Maxine Bell says the drug-prevention program will
help keep people out of prison.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APNP-02-25-08 1414MST<

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