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House Bill 592 — Idaho workforce housing fund

House Bill 592 — Idaho workforce housing fund

by
Parrish Miller
February 11, 2022
Parrish Miller
February 11, 2022

Bill Description: House Bill 592 would grow government by creating an Idaho Workforce Housing Advisory Commission and establishing an Idaho Workforce Housing Fund.

Rating: -5

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 592 creates Section 67-6228, Idaho Code, to establish the "workforce housing fund that will consist of such sums as may be appropriated by the legislature for the purpose of providing financial assistance in workforce housing development."

(-1)

House Bill 592 creates Section 67-6229, Idaho Code, to establish a 10-member "Idaho workforce housing advisory commission" to create "a statewide workforce housing plan that will determine the manner of structuring, prioritizing, and dispersing grants, loans, or equity investments from the Idaho workforce housing fund and in accordance with any applicable guidelines of the United States treasury."

The government should not be funding or centrally planning housing developments, even if they are proposed in the name of creating housing for workers.

(-1)

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

House Bill 592 creates Section 67-6227, Idaho Code, to state the "legislative purpose" for the massive growth of government contained in the bill. Among a series of questionable claims about why government should insert itself into funding housing for "low to moderate income members of Idaho's workforce," the bill reveals the intent to spend "onetime discretionary American rescue plan act dollars" (aka ARPA) on this endeavor. One-time expenditures often lead to ongoing expenses.

(-1)

House Bill 592 creates Section 67-6228, Idaho Code, which calls on the state to prioritize funding for developments that "include a commitment on the part of a local government to match, in whole or in part, the funds allocated by the association." It says, "A local match may include but shall not be limited to money, fee waivers, in-kind services, donation of assets, the provision of infrastructure, or a combination thereof."

In other words, the state will seek out and incentivize increased local spending in addition to spending taxpayer money on its own.

(-1) 

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?

The use of ARPA funds compromises the sovereignty and independence of the state. As stated above, the state's actions will be contingent on "any applicable guidelines of the United States treasury."

(-1)

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