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House Bill 678 – Office of Drug Policy, Appropriations FY25

House Bill 678 – Office of Drug Policy, Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
February 29, 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: -1

Bill Description: House Bill 678 appropriates $5,000,700 and 6.00 full-time positions to the Office of Drug Policy for fiscal year 2025.

Does this budget incur any wasteful spending among discretionary funds, including new line items? Conversely, does this budget contain any provisions that serve to reduce spending where possible (i.e. base reductions, debt reconciliation, etc.)? 

House Bill 678 appropriates $100,000 for community models grants. The agency noted that these would be provided to local, nonprofit organizations to implement preventative drug abuse programs. However, the budget analyst noted in her presentation on Jan. 17 that there were two issues with this request. First, the agency failed to specify who would receive these grants.

Second, this line item is funded by dollars from the Opioid Settlement Fund. The Behavioral Health Council is supposed to recommend how they get used, but it made no such recommendation to the governor or the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, at least as of the budget hearing. Spending these funds without this recommendation violates Section 57-825(3) of Idaho Code.


Is the maintenance budget inappropriate for the needs of the state, the size of the agency, or the inflationary environment of the economy? Conversely, is the maintenance budget appropriate given the needs of the state and economic pressures?

This legislation confirms the maintenance budget for the Office of Drug Policy of $4,891,000, only growing from the base by 1.7% over the last three years. This rate is substantially lower than the rate of inflation over the same period, demonstrating modest growth in the cost to maintain the agency.


Does this budget perpetuate or expand state dependence on federal dollars, thereby violating principles of federalism? Conversely, does this budget actively reduce the amount of federal dollars used to balance this budget?

Half of the agency’s employees and 90% of the total agency budget is funded by federal dollars. Most of this funding comes in the form of trustee and benefits payments to third party community organizations and local area agencies, like public health districts. Nonetheless, the agency is substantially dependent on the federal government to support its programs and operations.


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