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News / Northwest

Lawmakers approve $1 million for University of Idaho costs that stemmed from killings

By Ryan Suppe, Idaho Statesman
Published: March 14, 2023, 7:28pm

BOISE, Idaho — The University of Idaho will receive $1 million in state funds to cover costs related to the killings of four students in Moscow last year.

Lawmakers approved the funding this month, after Idaho Gov. Brad Little recommended the $1 million transfer from the state’s general fund.

The money will cover Idaho State Police services, increased security, a shuttle service, counseling services, a vigil, media consulting and a security review, according to the budget request.

“They spent more than the $1 million and are still incurring expenses because they’ve still kept that counseling in place, they’ve still provided that additional security,” Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, told the Senate on Tuesday. “It’s something that doesn’t go away in just a few months.”

University of Idaho seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington, were stabbed to death in an off-campus house in the early morning hours on Nov. 13.

The suspect, 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger, was charged with four counts of felony first-degree murder and felony burglary in the attack. The former graduate student at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, now awaits trial.

The funding is separate from the $1 million that Little pledged for the investigation into the killings. That money, which did not need approval from the Legislature, came from the governor’s emergency fund.

A handful of conservative Republicans, including Sen. Dan Foreman, who represents Moscow, opposed the additional funding for security, counseling and other expenses. Foreman did not immediately respond to a request for comment following the Senate vote Tuesday.