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 1170 appropriates $10,006,400 and 58.00 full-time positions to the Idaho State Historical Society 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 1170 provides $173,500 for the salary equity adjustments for hard-to-fill and hard-to-retain positions. However, these funds will not be appropriated based on merit and are in addition to the $1.20 statewide change in employee compensation. This would be an inappropriate use of tax dollars as the agency would double dip on pay increases for positions that are eligible for the CEC.
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 Historical Society at $8,771,400, growing from the base by 13.0% over the last three years. This rate is approximately equal to the rate of inflation over the same period.
Does this budget perpetuate or expand state dependence on federal dollars, thereby violating principles of federalism? Conversely, does this budget actively reduce the amount of federal dollars used to balance this budget?
Nearly 23% of the budget for the Idaho State Historical Society is federally funded. This is largely due to the many federal grants that the agency curates for historical preservation projects. This dependence is leading to growth in the size of government and the agency. Namely, the Senate Bill 1170 asks for a new full-time position to hire a Compliance Specialist to ensure that grants administered by the agency are properly disbursed in accordance with federal law. In this way, federal government intervention leads to more bureaucratic growth, overhead, and dependence at the state level.
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