Research.


2020

Image

Massive cost overruns demand Medicaid expansion repeal

Before Medicaid coverage was extended to able-bodied adults in 2020, the program was already on an unsustainable growth path and just crossed $3 billion in annual expenditures, up from about $2 billion five years ago. Medicaid costs are squeezing out other budget priorities, like roads.

Read now
 
Image

Letter to local governments regarding CARES Act funds

Idaho Freedom Foundation Local Government Policy Analyst Matt Tobeck explains that the state can use CARES Act money to offset public safety costs for Idaho cities and counties.

Read now
 
Image

The impact of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue on education choice opportunities in Idaho

Though 2020 might go down in history as the year in which fear of a virus shut down schools across the country, the greatest long-term impact of 2020 on education will likely have little to do with COVID-19. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue decision has the potential to restructure the American education system if education choice advocates are willing to make full use of their restored liberties.

Read now
 
Image

Legal opinion on Coronavirus special session

On March 13, 2020, Governor Little formally proclaimed a “state of emergency” in connection with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A series of subsequent proclamations and executive orders predicated on this declaration instituted sweeping restrictions on the activities of citizens and private businesses in Idaho. Does the Idaho Constitution permit the Idaho Legislature to convene a special session to consider, and potentially enact legislation pertaining to, issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Read now
 
Image

Help Idahoans: Use emergency powers to aid recovery from the economic shutdown

Idaho has begun its path back to normalcy by entering the second stage of Gov. Brad Little’s plan to reopen businesses. This plan is a lot more than just a map of what types of businesses can reopen when. It includes when public gatherings can resume, when travel can resume, when people can worship together again, and when other aspects of normal life can start.

Read now
 
Image

Direct relief funds to all Idahoans: Devote federal relief funds to pay down property taxes

The state of Idaho has received $1.25 billion from the federal government, to offer relief for the impact of COVID-19. The state wants to give a portion of these funds to local governments, because taxing districts, such as cities, only qualify for direct federal relief funds if they have a population of 500,000 or more. No Idaho cities have such a population.

Read now
 
Image

Help Idahoans help themselves: Immediate actions to get residents working again

Gov. Brad Little’s statewide shutdown of businesses has had a significant negative impact on Idaho’s workforce. The governor needs to do all he can to get Idahoans working again, as soon as possible.

He has made strides toward this goal over the past few weeks by reducing the licensing red tape on healthcare workers and healthcare facilities. But the governor has a wide range of further action he can take regarding occupational and business licensure. He needs to look far down the road as he contemplates his next steps in response to COVID-19, and take action that can lead to long-term fostering of the economy, instead of just a short-term response to one virus.

Read now
 
Image

IFF objections to Gov. Little's stay-home order

Unfortunately, I write today to express deep disappointment in your three-week statewide stayat-home order, and urge you to make swift changes to the declaration so the COVID-19 pandemic
does not do sustained economic damage to Idaho residents and businesses. We also worry about
the harm the order does to individual rights, which still must receive protection in times of crisis.

Read now
 
Image

How government officials can assist Idahoans during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local officials can also take actions to help taxpayers, businesses, and employees during times such as these — actions that uplift individuals and businesses through this crisis, instead of holding them back.

Read now
 
Image

Step one to improve Idaho’s property tax system: Freeze property tax budgets

Ever-increasing property taxes are forcing people from their homes and burdening too many families. At the Idaho Freedom Foundation, we routinely hear about annual property tax hikes of 30% to 40%. The Idahoans who share these stories fear for their future and worry daily about being tax-evicted from their homes.

Read now
 

2019

Image

Medicaid expansion enrollment process review

Idaho has added tens of thousands of its residents to the Medicaid program due to expansion. How is that occurring so quickly?

Here's what we know.

Read now
 
Image

So many election dates. Let's consolidate.

When you think of “election day,” you probably think of a date in early November. Or, you might think of a day in late May. If you pay attention to school district elections, a date in mid-March or late August might also pop into your mind. But these four election dates are not the only four days on which Idaho voters go to the polls. Idaho has eight election dates. Four of those dates are outliers, with only a handful of items for electors to vote on — or sometimes only one.

Read now
 
Image

Lockdown to liberty: How to help Idahoans trying to rebuild their lives

Idaho law currently sets up a bleak “out” for many Idahoans with criminal records, especially related to the chance of pursuing their desired occupations. Released prisoners should not be shackled to their past through all of their future pursuits. Yet Idaho has hundreds of shackles, all imposed through the language of law.

Read the report summary

Read the full report
 
Image

Higher education in crisis: How administrative growth puts degrees out of reach for Idaho students and what to do about it

Tens of thousands of Idaho students see a four-year degree as a
stepping stone to economic security. High costs derail students
from finishing their degrees, or leave them loaded with debt as
they launch their careers.

Read now
 
Image

The pain is real: How to alleviate suffering caused by Idaho's worst tax 

Property taxes are becoming a big problem for Idahoans of all stripes. 

This report reveals what's driving property tax growth and what to do about the problem.

Read now
 
Image

Are you kidding me, Boise? 

IFF’s “Are You Kidding Me, Boise?” report showcases five problematic patterns behind the hefty spending, and how Boise can cut its waste. Our report dissects more than $144 million spent by Boise, but the patterns of spending are applicable to all local governments.

Read now
 
Image

Broken ladder: Why Idaho lawmakers need to replace the Career Ladder (Revised September 2019)

The Career Ladder has been the focus of much debate in state government, but few people have a full understanding of what it is, what it does, and how it helps determine teacher salaries.

See original version here. 

Read now
 
Image

Objections to Common Core

Idaho is hearing public comment on the Idaho Content Standards, more commonly known as Common Core. This document outlines specific reasons many Idahoans object to Common Core Standards in Idaho. There is one section of general objections, followed by specific objections to Common Core English Language Arts, Math, and Science

Read now
 
Image

Public comment filed July 10, 2019, on Idaho Content Standards public hearing review

Idahoans are frustrated with stagnant student test scores, high school students unprepared for college, and curriculum updated with inflexible Common Core Standards, which haven’t yielded the promised results.

Read now
 
Image

Boise spend: Understanding Boise's proposed 2020 budget

In 2020, the city of Boise proposes to spend $764.7 million. Most of that money will come from you, your neighbors, and your fellow Boiseans.

So let’s talk about how your money ends up with the city, and how the government plans to spend your dollars. .

Read now
 
Image

Socialism in Idaho schools

The Idaho Freedom Foundation compiled these quotes from curricula in an Idaho Curricular Materials Regional Center. Read for yourself: Some Idaho textbooks distort—whether by omission or one-sided narratives—basic economic principles and social issues.

Read now
 
Image

Let’s provide a better future for Idaho’s kids

Giving students a thorough education is a lofty promise and a worthy goal. However, student performance at Idaho schools has stagnated, meaning Idaho’s promise remains unfulfilled.

Read now
 

2018

Image

Blockchain & Government

Blockchain technology has the potential to radically transform the role of government in areas as diverse as welfare, voting, and business regulation. In some areas, blockchain technology can streamline government services, thereby reducing the deadweight-loss in the economy and in our lives. In other areas, blockchain technology can completely eliminate the need for government intervention.

Read now
 
Image

Medicaid expansion: A fiscal train wreck headed for Idaho

Last year, the debate whether to expand Medicaid, through Proposition 2, was devoid of discussion about the growth of traditional Medicaid in Idaho. The true cost of expansion was not discussed either. Prop 2’s ballot language failed to include a cost for expansion nor possible funding mechanisms. Let’s review the expansion of Medicaid over the last two decades to give us a sense of what is to come.

Read now
 
Image

Making welfare work without government

Have you ever wondered how to make welfare more than a government handout? Have you ever wished people would freely invest in others’ lives and journeys, rather than leave it all to the government? Have you ever thought private, voluntary charity could do better than government welfare programs?

Read now
 
Image

Spending comparison of public education, Medicaid, & transportation

Which spending category is growing the fastest? The answer might surprise you.

Read now
 

2017

Image

Roadmap for Idaho

How do we solve the most important challenges facing Idaho? With common-sense conservative solutions. You'll find those in IFF's Roadmap for Idaho, an in-depth look at how to fix transportation, trim the state budget, and provide serious tax relief to families and small businesses.

Read now
 
Image

Projected Fiscal Year 2019 General Fund revenue surplus

Does Idaho have the money to repeal the tax on your groceries?

Read now
 

2016

Image

The 2017 Taxpayers Budget

A conservative budget can cover critical government services and provide serious tax relief.

Read now
 
Image

Idaho solutions?: A preliminary analysis of Idaho's use (and misuse) of selected federal grants

Every year, Idaho receives millions of dollars in grants from the federal government. While proponents often portray these grants as “free money” for Idaho, they are far from it.

Read now
 
Image

10 answers to common questions about public land transfer

You have questions about public land transfer. Luckily, we have answers.

Read now
 
Image

History lessons: Local organizations can provide care for the poor

Policymakers should consider fostering the growth of voluntary, private organizations that are historically proven to help lift people out of poverty, help the poor save for emergencies, and connect individuals with doctors and clinics. At the same time, policymakers must understand that the government must not play a central role in the delivery of charitable services. The best role is to play no role at all.

Read now
 
Image

Economic conditions and their impact on Idaho

Economic signals are mixed to negative, suggesting that fiscal caution is in order. Increasing general fund appropriation greater than the 4.9 percent projected revenue growth may require large corrections in state fiscal year 2017.

Read now
 

2013

Image

2013 Idaho Report on Government Waste

This is our fourth report on Idaho government expenditures. As always, we don't expect that you'll agree with everything you read, but we hope it will make you think. For all of our conversations about how "the government that governs best governs least," we sure do have a lot of governing going on in Idaho. Every single dollar that government spends is money that could have been spent in the private sector.

Read now