The Idaho Budget Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add important context to lawmakers’ discussions as they are considered on the floor of the House and Senate. Among the issues we look at in drawing a conclusion about a budget:
Does the agency requesting these funds serve a proper role of government? Has wasteful or duplicative spending been identified within the agency, and if so, has that spending been eliminated or corrected? Does the budget examine existing spending to look for opportunities to contain spending, e.g., through a base reduction? If there is a maintenance budget, is that maintenance budget appropriate? Are the line items appropriate in type and size, and are they absolutely necessary for serving the public? Does the budget contemplate the addition of new employees or programs? Does the appropriation increase dependency on the federal government?
Our analysis is intended to provide lawmakers and their constituents with a frame of reference for conservative budgeting, by summarizing whether appropriation measures contain items that are sincerely objectionable or sincerely supportable.
Bill description: House Bill 710 provides supplemental appropriations for the Division of Human Resources in fiscal year 2022.
This supplemental is described as part of an effort to modernize the Division of Human Resources. What it represents is a large increase in the staff of DHR, with 5 new positions added to an agency with 17 employees. This represents a 29% staff increase. It is not clear how vastly enlarging DHR will modernize it.
It is also not clear why this major policy shift should be accomplished with a supplemental.
The background information suggests that four positions are being transferred from other agencies, but if the shift is approved, the annualized increase in funding will be $284,800 for FY23. This suggests hefty pay increases are part of the shift, averaging over $50k in salary and benefits per position.
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