Bringing Home the Bacon 

Idaho's Congressional Delegation makes sure we get our share of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Idaho's Congressional Delegation makes sure we get our share of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill

The Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by Congress every year always includes the pork projects near and dear to all state's representatives in Congress. Idaho is no different. Senator Larry Craig and Congressman Mike Simpson both serve on their respective house's appropriations committees, so we should get a little more than most states, right?

Many taxpayers are uncomfortable or downright pissed when find out their taxes are paying for a weather museum in Punxsutawney, New York, or mariachi education programs in Las Vegas, Nevada. But when the money comes home, it means jobs. It means our congressmen and senators are working hard for us.

According to Citizens Against Government Waste (www.cagw.org), Idaho ranked 14th this year in pork per capita at $57.05 per person. In 2003, our congressional representatives helped Idaho achieve a sixth place ranking. While we did better this year than 51st place New Jersey ($11.70 per person) we were beaten by Alaska ($808.13 per person), Hawaii, District of Columbia, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nevada, Vermont and Iowa. The average pork per capita for the entire United States was $31.

So what did Idaho's Congressional Delegation bring home? While the state garnered approximately $77,943,000, according to a press release from the Idaho Congressional Delegation, Southwest Idaho received $31,939,000 for projects--40 percent of the state's share.

The biggest projects include:

• $500,000 for Idaho's strategic plan for managing noxious weeds

• $1.2 million to manage Idaho's burgeoning wolf populations

• $400,000 for The Peregrine Fund.

• $110,000 for slickspot peppergrass conservation.

• $1 million matching dollars for Boise foothills conservation.

• $1.3 million for a tri-state predator control program.

• $425,000 for the NW Center for Small Fruits Research

• $829,000 for technology improvements for safety and extension of shelf-life for Idaho agricultural products.

• $750,000 for Idaho's participation in the Criminal Information Sharing Alliance Network

• $4.5 million for Idaho's share of the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery fund.

• $495,000 for the transfer of remote sensing and GIS technology to local water delivery.

• $3.75 million for rural water projects.

• $4.5 million for a Boise Airport control tower.

• $3.5 million for various transit projects.

• $500,000 for expansion of St. Luke's Children's Health Services.

• $400,000 for the Boise State Center for the Study of Aging.

• $900,000 for the Boise State Center for Environmental Science and Economic Development.

• $3.2 million for Boise State research on multi-purpose sensors.

• $650,000 for the water system for the town Castleford.

--Bingo Barnes

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