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 261 appropriates $91,962,300 and 435.80 full-time positions to the Military Division 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 Military Division at $87,473,600, growing from the base by 9.8% over the last three years. This rate is about four percentage points slower than the rate of inflation over the same period, demonstrating acceptable growth in the cost to maintain the agency.
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?
House Bill 261 provides $74.8 million — 81% of the budget — in federal funding for military management, emergency communications, and the Idaho National Guard. This legislation adds to this total by appropriating another $3.8 million for cybersecurity throughout the state. These latest funds are sourced from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Furthermore, as much as 77% of the staff within the Military Division are federally funded positions. All of these factors combined make the Military division a very federally dependent agency.