The Idaho Spending Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add some important context to lawmakers’ discussions as the spending bills are considered on the House and Senate floors. As we look at the budget, we consider the following issues:
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? Have budget-writers reviewed existing outlays 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 adding 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 truly objectionable or legitimate and worthy of support.
Bill description: HR008 makes a transfer of approximately $50 million from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund, as supported by funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, to provide child care infrastructure expansion grants.
This resolution calls for just under $50 million to provide for child care infrastructure grants to expand the number of slots available for families for subsidized child care. By accepting this money, we are accepting the notion that it is the responsibility of the federal government to provide child care. Further, if the infrastructure is expanded with federal money, where will the money come to support the ongoing costs involved in operating the expanded infrastructure?
A final unanswered question: Will those that receive grants be competing for those that don’t, and what will that mean if there are more slots than kids in a downturn?
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.