A $12.5 million surprise for higher ed

Before wrapping up work for the week — and possibly for the 2013 session — the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee had a $12.5 million surprise for the state’s four-year college and universities.

The budget-writing committee voted to siphon $12.5 million from the state’s Permanent Building Fund for deferred maintenance work at Boise State University, the University of Idaho, Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College.

If the spending bill becomes law, the universities would stand to get $3.75 million apiece. Lewis-Clark would get $1.25 million.

Here’s more about the story from the Spokane Spokesman-Review’s Betsy Russell.

The move came shortly before the budget committee adjourned, “subject to call of the chair.” That means JFAC has finished writing budgets. Barring any unforeseen glitches, JFAC won’t meet again this session.

This is an unofficial milestone of sorts, suggesting the Legislature may be a couple of weeks away from adjournment.

Disclosure: Idaho Education News is housed under Boise State University, and its staffers are BSU employees. 

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