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 301 appropriates $11,501,300 and 82.00 full-time positions to Legislative Services for fiscal year 2024. This funding supports both the Legislative Services Office and the Office of Performance Evaluations.
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 bill sets the Legislative Branch’s maintenance budget at $11,120,400. This is an increase of 21.8% compared to the base set for the 2022 fiscal year. This growth is 7.8 points faster than what would be prescribed by inflationary pressures and growth.
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?
House Bill 301 spends $217,100 to add another two full-time positions to the Audits Division of the Legislative Services Office. Not only does this grow the size of government, but it also seems particularly ill-timed due to a 20% vacancy rate among these positions. This bill seeks to add another $89,500 to raise the entry-level pay for financial auditors. It does not make sense to add new positions to an agency that already has difficulty filling the positions they have.
This bill sets the Legislative Services Office’s maintenance budget at $10,112,700. This is an increase of 23.7% compared to the base set for the 2022 fiscal year — 10.3 points faster than the rate of inflation. This maintenance budget is inappropriate, given economic pressures and the growth of the state.
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