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Posts published in “Day: January 11, 2008”

Fiscal transparency

We'll take this a step further: There's really no excuse for every state, county, city and other unit of government doing equivalents of what the Congress has just ordered and, a month ago, set in place: A complete outline of who gets federal money exactly where it goes, posted and searchable online. You can find the federal version at the USA Spending Website.

In Washington state, two statewide officials, Attorney General Rob McKenna and Auditor Brian Sonntag, are trying to push through this year what failed last, a state version of the spending website.

The Lewiston Tribune, which editorialized in favor, suggested that "You would think this would be the least controversial bill in the session, one any legislator would be proud to wrap himself in."

One would think. We'll soon find out.

Micron projections

We keep coming around to this idea of whither Micron Technology - to what extent will it remain in Idaho? There's a reason: It continues to resurface.

Most recently in a New West post on the state's tax revenue forecast. During the discussion one legislator, Representative Darrell Bolz (R-Caldwell), referred to discussions he'd recently had with new state Department of Commerce Director Jim Ellick, who he said thought Micron would be “out of the business [with some limited exceptions, such as research activities] in the next year or two. Did you factor that in?”

The question was addressed to state economist Mike Ferguson, who replied that while Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter foresaw tough times ahead for Micron, “We don’t believe we’re on the verge of losing our largest private employer.”

That's the state's public position, at least for now. But in these sorts of things, unofficial positions sometimes can be more enlightening than the official ones.