The Idaho Spending Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add important context to lawmakers’ discussions as they consider these items on the House and Senate floors. Among the issues we look at in drawing a conclusion about a budget:
Does the agency requesting these funds serve a proper role of government? Has wasteful or duplicative spending been identified within the agency, and if so, has that spending been eliminated or corrected? Does the budget examine existing spending to look for opportunities to contain spending, e.g., through a base reduction? If there is a maintenance budget, is that maintenance budget appropriate? Are the line items appropriate in type and size, and are they absolutely necessary for serving the public? Does the budget contemplate the addition of new employees or programs? Does the appropriation increase Idaho’s dependency on the federal government?
Our analysis is intended to provide lawmakers and their constituents with a frame of reference for conservative budgeting, by summarizing whether appropriation measures contain items that are sincerely objectionable or sincerely supportable.
Bill Description: FY21 supplemental for Idaho State Police in the amount of $964,000
It is not clear why this nearly $1 million request needs to be appropriated as an FY21 supplemental and not an FY22 budget request. Many items requested in this supplemental would normally be listed as replacement items. Among them: money for clothing, money counters, cold weather jackets, rifles with suppressors, safety goggles, and body cameras. Some of the other agency FY21 supplemental requests that used federal money received under the CARES Act were requested as supplementals with carry-over authority — because of time limits on the use of federal dollars. However, this request uses General Fund dollars, so there is not the urgency or the timing issue that is the case with some federal funds.
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