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 765 appropriates $14,203,000 and 80 full-time positions to both the Legislative Services Office and the OPE for the 2023 fiscal year.
The singular concern with this budget is the use of federal ARPA funds for the $3.1 million technology upgrade line item. Up until 2021 Legislative Services had not used federal funds of any kind. Their budgets were entirely funded with General and Dedicated funds. It is very concerning that the legislative department would rely on federal funds in any capacity.
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.