The Idaho Spending 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 726 provides appropriations for the Division of Human Resources for fiscal year 2023.
A FY22 supplemental, House Bill 710, increased the Division of Human Resources staff from 17 to 22 FTP as part of an HR modernization plan. HB 710 has not passed both the House and Senate as of the date of this rating.
What is troubling about this bill is a $1.25 million line item for a compensation and classification study of the state workforce. Put simply at a consulting rate of $150/hour that equates to over 8,000 hours of work, or 4 people working full time for a year. Or 8 people full time for six months.
It makes no sense to increase staff by nearly 30% and then fully outsource this project at such a high estimated cost.
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