The Idaho Budget Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add important context to lawmakers’ discussions as the spending bills are considered 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 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.

Analyis: 

This division encompasses state-level spending in support of programs and contracts for services that provide oversight and evaluation under the superintendent of public instruction.

This budget reflects an actual reduction in spending from the prior year appropriation, even without including the impact of the transfer of three line items to other divisions. The decrease from Fiscal Year 2019 to Fiscal Year 2020, excluding the impact of the transfers, was 5.8 percent in General Fund spending.

The base reduction includes the removal of $842,000 of one-time items, none of which are added back in the maintenance section.

This budget demonstrated a large divergence between the agency request which included nearly $4.5 million of line items and the governor’s request which rejected all of them. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee did not add back any of these items either.

There are no discretionary line items or federal funds in this appropriation.

Rating: +1