JFAC punts on covering Lt. Gov. McGeachin's private legal bills
The Idaho legislature’s budget-writing committee has declined to address an outstanding request to cover $29,000 in private legal fees for Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin – for now.
“We have now set all of the scheduled appropriations budgets,” said Sen. Jeff Agenbroad (R-Nampa), one of the co-chairs of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee.
The Idaho Press Club successfully sued McGeachin last year after her office erroneously withheld public records from reporters related to her education indoctrination task force.
She eventually released those records after the Idaho Press Club filed a motion to hold her in contempt of court.
Last fall, the lieutenant governor requested the money come out of the Idaho Attorney General’s budget, who had initially consulted with her over the public records requests. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden “was not agreeable to that” idea, according to McGeachin.
Should her request not be approved, she told lawmakers she would have to cut staffing hours and limit constituent services.
McGeachin could cover the bill through her office, but just barely. She has about $40,000 left to spend before the fiscal year ends in June, though most of that is earmarked for salaries for herself and her chief of staff.
The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee could meet again before the legislature adjourns for the year, but it would have to be approved by the chairmen.
“There are still a few things under consideration, but we do not have any scheduled meetings going forward,” Agenbroad said Friday.
Jordan Watters, McGeachin’s chief of staff, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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