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 1166 appropriates $392,000 to the Wolf Depredation Control Board for fiscal year 2024.
Senate Bill 1166 provides for a true maintenance budget for the Wolf Depredation Control Board. There are no line item requests and no supplemental requests made in this legislation. This budget also receives continuously appropriated funding from wool, brand, and hunting license fees that are distributed to the board by a funding formula in statute. These funds are not included in this budget or the request made to the governor.
Does this budget enact powers and activities that extend beyond the proper role of government? Conversely, does this budget fulfill the proper role of government?
The Wolf Depredation Control Board micromanages the ranchers’ ability to control the depredation of their livestock by wolves. This board is part of a once smaller project housed within the Department of Agriculture. This is an example of a government program that grew into a new agency within the Office of the Governor. It should be up to landowners and ranchers to manage the protection of their livestock, not the role of government.
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 sets the maintenance budget for the Wolf Depredation Control Board at $392,000, demonstrating zero growth in the last three years. This rate is extremely modest compared to what would be prescribed by inflationary pressures and growth.
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