The Idaho Spending Index serves to provide a fiscally conservative perspective on state budgeting while providing an unbiased measurement of how Idaho lawmakers apply these values to their voting behavior on appropriations bills. Each bill is analyzed within the context of the metrics below. They receive one (+1) point for each metric that is satisfied by freedom-focused policymaking and lose one (-1) point for each instance in which the inverse is true. The sum of these points composes the score for the bill.
Analyst: Niklas Kleinworth
Bill Description: House Bill 209 provides a supplemental appropriation of $327,600 to the Indirect Support Services Division, of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for fiscal year 2023.
Does this budget contain hidden fund transfers or supplemental expenditures that work to enact new policy or are not valid emergency expenditures? Conversely, are fund transfers only made to stabilization funds or are supplemental requests only made in the interest of resolving valid fiscal emergencies?
House Bill 209 appropriates $327,600 as a supplemental for fiscal year 2023 to cover expenses incurred in the FV v Jeppesen settlement. The plaintiff sued the state for denying their request to change the biological sex noted on their birth certificate. The U.S. District Court found Idaho in violation of a prior ruling that denying such a request is unconstitutional. The court ruled that the state must pay attorney’s fees and related costs.
Despite the objectionable nature of the court’s ruling, this is a valid use of a supplemental request as the settlement will start to accrue interest at the start of the 2024 fiscal year. Paying before the close of the current fiscal year would minimize the amount that would need to be paid to the plaintiffs.