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House Bill 735 – Permanent Building Fund, Appropriations FY25

House Bill 735 – Permanent Building Fund, Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
March 24, 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 735 appropriates $174,908,300 to the Permanent Building Fund 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.)? 

This legislation contains several wasteful line items.

Several projects for colleges and universities would expand in scope under this appropriation. Boise State University is seeking $13 million for a science and research building. This project originally received $17.9 million for planning and construction in the 2024 fiscal year. The University of Idaho is requesting $2 million to expand the scope of the meat science facility and another $2 million for its McCall Campus projects. The university already received $3 million and $4 million, respectively, to complete each project. According to information provided by the Legislative Services Office, this additional funding was not planned in the originally proposed project.


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?

This legislation provides for a $25 million transfer from the General Fund to construct a secure mental health facility. Transfers from the General Fund deceptively reduce the amount of spending accounted for in the budget. This prevents taxpayers from understanding the true impact of the investment in these projects.


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