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 251 appropriates $17,311,100 and 160.00 full-time positions to the Division of Human Resources for fiscal year 2024.
Is the maintenance budget inappropriate for the needs of the state, the size of the agency, or the inflationary environment of the economy? Conversely, is the maintenance budget appropriate given the needs of the state and economic pressures?
This legislation sets the maintenance budget for the Division of Human Resources at $3,523,100, growing from the base by 30.6% in the last three years. This rate is more than double what would be prescribed by inflationary pressures and growth.
Some would argue that this growth is artificial, due to the DHR consolidation initiative this year. However, this is not the case, as DHR consolidation was a line item in this budget, added after the maintenance budget was calculated.
Does the budget grow government through the addition of new permanent FTPs or through funding unlegislated efforts to create new or expanded entitlement programs? Conversely, does this budget reduce the size of government staff and programs except where compelled by new legislation?
This legislation adds one full-time Financial Specialist position to the Division of Human Resources to manage the workload of human resources consolidation. Though the Division saw this as a necessary change for the administration of the program, this measure grows the size of government and ongoing spending within the Division.
ANALYST NOTE: The governor’s initiative for human resources consolidation would bring 137.00 FTPs and $13,539,700 under the purview of the Division of Human Resources (DHR). These are not new positions, as they previously existed as separate HR positions in each of the other state agencies. DHR will take on the salary and benefits obligations for these employees while also charging a higher statewide cost allocation fee to each of the agencies for managing their HR needs. This is a net increase in cost of $48,000 due to the increased fees imposed on the agencies relative to the savings of consolidating employees under one division.
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