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House Bill 468 — Rangeland improvement act

House Bill 468 — Rangeland improvement act

Parrish Miller
February 5, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 468 would establish a rangeland improvement account and instruct the Idaho Department of Agriculture to seek funding to carry out a wide variety of grazing improvement projects.

Rating: -3

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

House Bill 468 would create Chapter 15, Title 58, Idaho Code, titled "Rangeland Improvement Act," to establish a "rangeland improvement account" in the state treasury and instruct the Idaho State Department of Agriculture "to seek appropriation and to receive contributions, gifts, and grants for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter."

This bill would task the department with using these funds to pursue a broad range of responsibilities and goals, including "rangeland improvement and maintenance; the control of predatory and depredating animals; the control, management, or extermination of invading species, rangeland damaging organisms, and poisonous or noxious weeds; any other management tool that benefits a grazing district; watershed protection, development, distribution, and improvement; the general welfare of livestock grazing within a grazing district; and costs to monitor rangeland improvement projects."

The bill specifies that "annual account distributions or expenditures for costs to monitor rangeland improvement projects may not exceed ten percent (10%) of the annual receipts of the account."


Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

House Bill 468 does not directly increase spending (that will be done through a separate appropriations bill), but it creates the framework for seeking additional taxpayer money to enlarge the size, scope, and spending of government.


Does it violate the principles of federalism by increasing federal authority, yielding to federal blandishments, or incorporating changeable federal laws into Idaho statutes or rules? Examples include citing federal code without noting as it is written on a certain date, using state resources to enforce federal law, and refusing to support and uphold the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the principles of federalism?

Section 58-1504, Idaho Code, created by this bill, would allow for the "rangeland improvement account" to be funded with "sales, leases, fees, grants, or appropriations from the state or federal government, and grants from private foundations."

Idaho is already far too dependent on federal funding, and authorizing the state to seek more federal funding will only exacerbate this ongoing dependency.


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