Little forms committee to oversee coronavirus stimulus spending

Gov. Brad Little has assembled a committee to oversee the way Idaho spends its share of a $2 trillion federal coronavirus stimulus law.

“This federal funding – the taxpayers’ money — must be prudently managed on behalf of all taxpayers,” Little said Tuesday, in a news release announcing the state’s 14-member Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee. “I can assure Idahoans that the federal funds will not be used to create new government programs in Idaho, and we will uphold our constitutional mandate to provide a long-term, structurally balanced budget for the people of Idaho.”

The state stands to receive an estimated $1.25 billion from the coronavirus stimulus law. At least $100 million is expected to go to Idaho public schools, the state’s public colleges and universities, and a separate fund Little can use to fund K-12 and higher education. Little and state superintendent Sherri Ybarra have said the federal money should offset cuts in state education funding, ordered by Little on March 27.

The state expects to receive its share of the federal funding around April 24.

It’s unclear when the committee will meet — or whether its meetings will be streamed or made available to the public. Little’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the committee’s meetings.

The committee’s membership is as follows:

  • Alex Adams, administrator, Division of Financial Management (chairman).
  • Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, co-chair, Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
  • Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa, co-chair, Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
  • Josh Whitworth, chief of staff, state controller’s office.
  • Jani Revier, director, Idaho Department of Labor.
  • Tom Kealey, director, Idaho Department of Commerce.
  • Shawn Keough, State Board of Education member.
  • Lisa Hettinger, deputy director, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
  • John Evans, mayor, Garden City.
  • Seth Grigg, executive director, Idaho Association of Counties.
  • Chantel Greene, Nez Perce Tribe.
  • Dennis Johnson, large business representative.
  • Matt Newton, small/midsize business representative.
  • Bobbi-Jo Meuleman, intergovernmental affairs director, governor’s office.
Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday