Bill Description: House Bill 192 would clarify that changes in financial eligibility criteria for public assistance programs must be made in statute, not through rules.
NOTE: House Bill 192 was amended in the Senate to limit the requirement that eligibility criteria must be set in statute only to financial eligibility criteria, which substantially reduces the value of the bill. This amendment changes the rating of the bill from (+1) to (0).
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency, accountability, or election integrity? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency, accountability, or election integrity?
House Bill 192 would create Section 56-269, Idaho Code, to say, "Effective July 1, 2023, any change in eligibility criteria, including financial eligibility criteria, for a public assistance program must be provided in statute and may not be provided in rule."
This change will prevent departments or agencies from expanding the scope of a public assistance program unless the Legislature has directly authorized it.
It is impossible to predict when or if the Legislature may choose to expand the eligibility criteria for one of these programs. This bill, however, would prevent unelected and unaccountable officials from increasing the government's redistribution of wealth and objectionable spending.
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