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House Bill 679 – Military Division, Appropriations FY25

House Bill 679 – Military Division, Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
March 1, 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: -2

Bill Description: House Bill 679 appropriates $104,877,100 and 429.80 full-time positions to the Military Division 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 679 appropriates $12 million in ongoing federal grants to support the execution and completion of construction projects within the division. Individual construction projects, when well managed, are temporary in nature. It is wasteful to request these added federal funds as ongoing appropriations, being that they may not always be necessary. This leads to unencumbered money in the budget that encourages additional spending outside of the real needs of the department.


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 Military Division of $91,591,200, growing from the base by 15.0% over the last three years. This rate is three percentage points slower than the rate of inflation over the same period, demonstrating acceptable 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?

House Bill 679 appropriates nearly $87.9 million in federal funding to the Military Division. This constitutes 83.5% of the agency’s total appropriations. Additionally, as many as 323.90 of the agency’s 435.80 staff members are federally funded. These metrics indicate that the agency is substantially dependent on federal funding to sustain its operations and programs.


Does this budget contain hidden fund transfers or supplemental expenditures that work to enact new policy or are not valid emergency expenditures? Conversely, are fund transfers only made to stabilization funds or are supplemental requests only made in the interest of resolving valid fiscal emergencies?

House Bill 679 appropriates funding to support several supplemental and deficiency warrant requests within the agency. Two of these three requests would count as valid uses of these funds. The first appropriates $22,000 as a deficiency warrant to mitigate emergencies involving hazardous materials. This is a valid expenditure that fulfills a public need and is unforeseeable.

The second request adds back $5.1 million in capital outlay for construction projects that was mistakenly reverted instead of reappropriated. This was unexpected and would go to fund projects that these funds were already allocated to support.

The third item, however, is not an appropriate use of a supplemental request. More than $12 million is being allocated to “execute and sustain construction and facility management projects.” The division was unaware these funds would be available until the October 1 start of the federal fiscal year. However, this request has a sister appropriation in the fiscal year 2025 budget as an ongoing expenditure. Being that the division initially planned to execute its projects without these funds and due to the ongoing nature of the funds, this does not qualify as a valid emergency.


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