Bill Description: House Bill 84 would force taxpayers to subsidize the educational expenses of nurses who work in specific rural areas.
Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?
House Bill 84 would create Chapter 25, Title 39, Idaho Code, to establish a "rural nursing loan repayment program." This new government program includes a "rural nursing loan repayment fund" and a "rural nursing loan repayment grant review board." This would expand the size, scope, and spending of government.
Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Examples include the use of tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, businesses, politicians, or government employees with special favors or perks; transfer payments; and hiring additional government employees. Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?
House Bill 84 will offer certain nurses up to $25,000 in taxpayer-provided subsidies, in the name of helping them pay off student loans. To receive these handouts, the nurses will have to agree to work in "a rural area also designated by the United States secretary of health and human services as a health professional shortage area" or "all certified Idaho critical access hospitals."
It is not the proper role of government to redistribute public money to incentivize people to take certain jobs.
Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?
The fiscal note for House Bill 84 doesn't clarify how much the program would actually cost, saying instead that "the number of actual awards each year would be made dependent upon the annual appropriation." While the total cost of the program is unstated, government spending would increase through an act of redistribution.
Does it violate the principles of federalism by increasing federal authority, yielding to federal blandishments, or incorporating changeable federal laws into Idaho statutes or rules? Examples include citing federal code without noting as it is written on a certain date, using state resources to enforce federal law, and refusing to support and uphold the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the principles of federalism?
The Statement of Purpose for House Bill 84 says the purpose of the proposed program would be "to entice nurses to commit to practicing in rural Idaho," but what constitutes a rural area is defined in part as an area "designated by the United States secretary of health and human services as a health professional shortage area."
By using this definition, the state of Idaho is outsourcing its determination of where there is a nursing shortage to the federal government.