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House Bill 535 - Soil and Water Conservation Commission

House Bill 535 - Soil and Water Conservation Commission

Fred Birnbaum
February 25, 2020

Rating: +1


This budget reflects a reduction across general, dedicated, and federal spending categories for the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriation for an overall reduction of 10.3% compared to Fiscal Year 2020. This includes the FY21 2% general fund base reduction, for an overall General Fund reduction of 2.1%.

Four FTPs were removed from the budget in 2020 and 2021. Three FTPs are being absorbed in federal budgets, not dollars appropriated by Idaho. 

In the Performance Report, this agency exceeded the four metrics for ground water quality management: acres treated, nitrates reduced, Phosphorus reduced, and sediments reduced.

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The Idaho Spending Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add some important context to lawmakers’ discussions as the spending bills are considered on the House and Senate floors. As we look at the budget, we consider the following issues:

Does the agency requesting these funds serve a proper role of government? Has wasteful or duplicative spending been identified within the agency, and if so, has that spending been eliminated or corrected? Have budget-writers reviewed existing outlays to look for opportunities to contain spending, e.g., through a base reduction? If there is a maintenance budget, is that maintenance budget appropriate? Are the line items appropriate in type and size, and are they absolutely necessary for serving the public? Does the budget contemplate adding new employees or programs? Does the appropriation increase dependency on the federal government?

Our analysis is intended to provide lawmakers and their constituents with a frame of reference for conservative budgeting, by summarizing whether appropriation measures contain items that are truly  objectionable or legitimate and worthy of support.

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