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House Bill 460 – Public Schools, Maintenance Appropriations FY25

House Bill 460 – Public Schools, Maintenance Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
February 1, 2024

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

Rating: 0

Bill Description: House Bill 460 appropriates $3,071,699,000 to support the maintenance of current operations in the Public Schools budget group for fiscal year 2025.

Fiscal year 2025 is the first time the Legislature considered funding maintenance budgets separately from adjustments, such as budget enhancements. The maintenance budget excludes one-time expenditures, nondiscretionary spending, and replacement items are all removed from the maintenance budget. Changes to the base, enhancement requests, nondiscretionary spending, and discretionary spending will come in the form of line item adjustments in stand-alone budget bills later in the session. 

The various state departments are funded in 10 appropriations bills, with each bill covering two or more departments, each with a similar or related core government function. The Idaho Freedom Foundation is neutral on these requests, given the need to fund certain services and functions. However, this request for the Public Schools functional area sustains funding for several problematic agencies that should be addressed in the budget enhancement bills to come later in the session. We may view maintenance budgets more critically should more egregious examples present themselves in the future.

The Division of Children’s Programs is of particular concern in this bill.

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