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
Bill Description: Senate Bill 1132 appropriates $13,629,000 and 81.00 full-time positions to the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI) for fiscal year 2024.
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.)?
Senate Bill 1132 contains a $100,000 line item designed to increase starting pay for entry-level positions and to address any resulting salary compression thereafter. This is in addition to the $1.20 change in employee compensation (CEC) passed by the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that gave these positions a 10.4% pay increase. This would be a wasteful expense because it provides a pay increase to employees regardless of merit.
Is the maintenance budget inappropriate for the needs of the state, the size of the agency, or the inflationary environment of the economy? Conversely, is the maintenance budget appropriate given the needs of the state and economic pressures?
This legislation would set the maintenance budget for PERSI at $9,821,400, growing from the base by 10.3% in the last three years. This rate is nearly four percentage points slower than the rate of inflation over the same period, demonstrating an acceptable amount of growth in the maintenance of operations over time.
Does the budget grow government through the addition of new permanent FTPs or through funding unlegislated efforts to create new or expanded entitlement programs? Conversely, does this budget reduce the size of government staff and programs except where compelled by new legislation?
Senate Bill 1132 seeks to add another 9.00 full-time positions to PERSI to “address morale, workload, retention, training, and customer service.” However, the rationale for this line item contradicts what was used to explain the need for a salary increase for these positions in line item number 3. It does not make sense to add more full-time entry-level positions when an agency is having a difficult time filling the positions they have. This initiative would expand the agency, ongoing spending, and the overall size of government.