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House Bill 681 – State Board of Education, Health Education Programs, Appropriations FY25

House Bill 681 – State Board of Education, Health Education Programs, 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: -3

Bill Description: House Bill 681 appropriates $28,204,700 and 46.65 full-time positions to the State Board of Education, Division of Health Education Programs for fiscal year 2025.

Does this budget enact powers and activities that extend beyond the proper role of government? Conversely, does this budget fulfill the proper role of government?

The WWAMI program is a joint medical education program between the University of Idaho and the University of Washington School of Medicine. The University of Idaho administers the first two years of medical school for all Idaho medical students, then they can either do their clinical rotations in the Gem State or in Western Washington.

The University of Washington School of Medicine has been in hot water for their use of faculty and students to staff Planned Parenthood clinics in Washington state. These faculty and students would encourage women who plan to get abortions to donate their unborn children to the school for research purposes. Then the school sells the body parts of those deceased children to other institutions across the country. At present, these activities are illegal to conduct in the state of Idaho. However, House Bill 681 does not prevent funds appropriated by the Idaho Legislature from supporting students as they participate in these programs or learn how to perform abortions on the Moscow campus.

The philosophy of government’s role in abortion and an unborn child’s right to life promoted by the WWAMI program is counter to that of the State of Idaho. Idaho’s most innocent have a right to life as recognized in Title 18 of the Idaho Code. It is improper for the state of Idaho to fund efforts to subvert this fundamental right.

In addition to their stances on abortion, the WWAMI program is also guilty of promoting LGBTQ, Critical Race Theory, and transgender-based medicine. These concepts are found in both basic courses that all students have to take in the “Foundations Phase” of their medical studies and as electives that they take later on when they specialize. This indoctrination of woke ideology is an issue that Idaho is funding to import into the healthcare system statewide. This focus on social justice distracts from the competent practice of medicine and provides yet another illustration of why government should not be in the education business.


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 sets the maintenance budget for Health Education Programs at $27,630,600, growing from the base by 24.3% in the last three years. This rate is just over six percentage points faster than what would be prescribed by inflationary pressures and growth. 

This growth is largely due to the implementation of the State Department of Education’s 10 year plan to expand the number of medical residencies throughout the state. The plan was extended to 13 years after the pandemic. We are currently budgeting for year seven of the expansion.


Does the budget grow government through the addition of new permanent FTPs or through funding unlegislated efforts to create new or expanded entitlement programs? Conversely, does this budget reduce the size of government staff and programs except where compelled by new legislation?

House Bill 681 adds another 2.00 FTPs to accommodate family medical resident positions in Pocatello and Rupert. 

This budget funds these two new positions at $120,000. This was cited to be in accordance with the SBOE state plan for medical residency expansion. However, this is more than both the Governor’s recommendation and the agency request of $112,000 and $109,100, respectively.


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