Bill Description: House Bill 559 would set up a fund through which the state will spend taxpayer dollars to subsidize or encourage confined animal feeding operations to implement environmental improvement programs.
Analyst Note: House Bill 559 is very similar to House Bill 466, introduced earlier this session. But House Bill 559's fiscal note conspicuously excludes any mention of the anticipated $5 million appropriation from the Department of Environmental quality that House Bill 466's fiscal note acknowledged. The new bill's fiscal note instead claims creating this new fund "has no fiscal impact and is subject to appropriations." The fact remains that government does not create a new program and a new fund without expecting an accompanying appropriation.
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 559 creates Section 39-3628B, Idaho Code, to establish the "confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) improvement fund" and a 7-member "CAFO improvement fund committee" to administer the CAFO improvement fund.
The bill says, "The fund shall have paid into it any gifts or grants from any source when the same are made for purposes consistent with those for which the fund is established, interest due to the investment of moneys in the fund, or any other appropriation provided by the legislature."
This new fund and committee will expand the size and scope of government "to support implementation of environmental improvement programs on confined animal feeding operations."
Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?
The rewritten fiscal note notwithstanding, House Bill 559 will pave the way for spending taxpayer dollars "to support implementation of environmental improvement programs on confined animal feeding operations."
Regardless of whether the CAFO fund will receive money through a one-time appropriation from the General Fund or some other channel, the state should not spend taxpayer dollars to subsidize or encourage confined animal feeding operations to implement any programs, including environmental improvement programs.
Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Examples include the use of tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, businesses, politicians, or government employees with special favors or perks; transfer payments; and hiring additional government employees. Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?
House Bill 559 creates a fund to distribute taxpayer-funded grants exclusively to "owners and operators of a dairy farm, "owners and operators of a beef cattle animal feeding operation," and "owners and operators of a concentrated animal feeding operation." This is redistribution of wealth to specific types of businesses.