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In 2009 and 2010, when Idaho policymakers experienced major economic problems and scarcer revenues, they approved major spending reductions. More recently, as the state’s economy and revenues have been improving, policymakers have sought to establish the “new normal” for Idaho state budgeting. To discern what this new normal may entail, this paper examines the governor’s budget recommendations and the legislature’s appropriation actions for Fiscal Year 2013. It briefly describes Idaho’s people, politics, and budgeting process. After discussing developments in Idaho’s economy and General Fund revenues, it reports on the governor’s budget recommendations and the legislature’s actions. It then considers impacts of these decisions in terms of budget shares and progress to return budgets to their spending levels before Idaho’s economic and revenue problems began. It finds that General Fund revenues have improved, but the fortunes of General Fund budgets have been mixed.

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This document was originally published by de Gruyter in California Journal of Politics and Policy. Copyright restrictions may apply. DOI: 10.1515/cjpp-2013-0024