JFAC 1-20-20

The Idaho Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee meets on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020.

In a series of unanimous votes, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning approved six supplemental appropriations or recissions, the largest of which simply recognized the receipt of non-state funds by two agencies, the Domestic Violence Council and the STEM Action Center.

The STEM Action Center already was authorized to receive and spend up to $1 million in donations from public, private or corporate donors; the supplemental appropriation request says the center anticipates raising even more this year, as it’s nearly up to $1 million now. The supplemental appropriation permits the agency to spend up to $2 million a year in private donations, in addition to its state funding. JFAC members congratulated the center on its successful fundraising; Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, moved to approve it, Sen. Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville, seconded the motion, and it passed, 20-0.

The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Action Center was created in 2015 to promote the expansion of student engagement in STEM activities, working with schools, state agencies, private industry and more. It is currently overseeing the state’s computer science initiative.

The Domestic Violence Council was awarded $1.6 million in additional federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds; that will increase distributions to 45 programs around the state that provide services to eligible crime victims. The money comes from fines, penalties and assessments paid by offenders convicted of federal crimes.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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