BOISE -- The Idaho Division of Financial Management estimates the state's revenue at nearly 7 percent, but the governor has cut that amount in half.

That's what he is using as his benchmark for the budget his staff will present Tuesday.

If lawmakers were working that 6.9 percent number, there would be a lot more money to go around, but Gov. Butch Otter has opted to go with a conservative estimate of 3 percent.

Otter says he only wants to work with money he knows is available.

He acknowledged that certain industries like agriculture, timber and mining are doing very well and contributing to state revenue. But he doesn't see 6.9 percent growth in real personal income, or in consumer spending, and that's why he'd rather play it safe at the 3 percent projected revenue.

However, legislators may disagree with that and make a budget for next year based on a higher projected revenue.

If there's additional monies that come in in July, August, September or those months start to show that, then rather than wait 'til the supplementals a year from now, we'd like you to direct those funds into this area of need, said Otter.

On Tuesday, Otter's budget director will present his budget to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, or JFAC. That's the legislative committee that reviews the budget and makes a recommendation to the Legislature.

Some lawmakers may want to work with a budget based on a higher projected revenue, but it could also swing the other way.

Some legislators may want to work with an even more conservative budget than the one the governor's staff will propose.

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