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 211 provides a supplemental appropriation of $900,000 to the Department of Parks and Recreation 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 211 provides a one-time supplemental appropriation of $900,000 to the Department of Parks and Recreation for the purpose of relocating a maintenance building servicing the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. The majority of the building is located on property that is actually owned by the Department of Environmental Quality. DEQ has requested that the building be removed by the end of 2024 so they can develop the land. The Department of Parks and Recreation seeks to construct a new building in a different location to service the trail.
The need to remove the building is an unexpected expense for the Department of Parks and Recreation, justifying the need for a supplemental to cover the cost of replacing the building. Though demolition of the old building is not due until halfway through the 2024 fiscal year, construction of a new building must be complete before this happens. This would prevent incurring additional expenses to store equipment and allow for uninterrupted maintenance of the trail. In this aspect, this would be a valid use of a supplemental appropriation.
It is critical to note that the governor added a $100 million supplemental appropriation to the Parks and Recreation budget recommendation for large maintenance and expansion projects like this one. Should this other supplemental pass, there would be no reason the cost for the new maintenance building could not be absorbed by this large fund injection.
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