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 355 appropriates $5,559,800 to the Idaho Millennium Fund for fiscal year 2024.
Does this budget incur any wasteful spending among discretionary funds, including new line items? Conversely, does this budget contain any provisions that serve to reduce spending where possible (i.e. base reductions, debt reconciliation, etc.)?
The Idaho Millennium Fund is the result of a 1998 legal settlement between tobacco companies and 46 states, including Idaho. Idaho is set to receive $250 million over the following 25 years. The Millennium Fund has a cap of $100 million, sending any excess funds to the Millennium Fund Permanent Endowment Fund.
Appropriations from the Millennium Fund are recommended by the Joint Millennium Fund Committee. The 2024 recommendation from the committee specified that these funds are to be used for youth prevention programs to combat smoking and vaping. Due to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare misusing the funds to sponsor Pride festivals throughout the state, there are special provisions recommended by the committee for these funds not to go toward advertising and sponsorships.