Idaho lawmakers' tempers flare during budget cuts - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho lawmakers' tempers flare during budget cuts

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Tempers flared a day before Idaho budget writers were due to set the biggest state spending plan: Public education.

On Tuesday, House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, a Coeur d'Alene Republican, expressed anger at the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee and its leaders, Sen. Dean Cameron and Maxine Bell, for the control they have over educational policy.

Nonini, who would rather see that power reserved for his panel, was reviewing JFAC's proposal to cut $128 million from total public-schools spending in 2011 when he was asked by another education committee member asked if they should send a letter to budget writers outlining their preferences.

Nonini shot back, "It probably just gets filed up there in Sen. Cameron's and Rep. Bell's round file."

Cameron, a Republican from Rupert, countered that Nonini has had plenty of opportunity to shape the education budget.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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