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 252 appropriates $712,600 and 4.00 full-time positions to the State Independent Living Council for fiscal year 2024.
With the exception of the statewide human resources consolidation initiative, this is a true maintenance of operations budget, featuring no line items or supplementals. There are also no changes in the number of full-time positions within the agency.
Does this budget enact powers and activities that extend beyond the proper role of government? Conversely, does this budget fulfill the proper role of government?
The express purpose of the State Independent Living Council is to “provide Idahoans across disabilities and age a greater voice in obtaining services that are consumer-responsive, cost effective, and community-based.” Idaho is required to have this agency to receive federal funds under Title VII of the Federal Rehabilitation Act. The duties of this agency are directed by the Federal Rehabilitation Act.
It is apparent that the agency’s purpose is to administer federal law and to help the state meet federal stipulations for receiving funding. It is not the proper role of state governments to implement and enforce federal regulations on their behalf.
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 State Independent Living Council at $709,300, shrinking slightly (<1%) from the base over the last three years. The growth of the agency is relatively stagnant over time.
Does this budget perpetuate or expand state dependence on federal dollars, thereby violating principles of federalism? Conversely, does this budget actively reduce the amount of federal dollars used to balance this budget?
This budget also includes the use of $59,100 in federal grants built into the base. These funds constitute only 8.3% of the agency’s total budget, which is not enough to demonstrate dependence on federal funds to support operations and staff.