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 1196 appropriates $85 million as a supplemental to the Department of Parks and Recreation for fiscal year 2023, and has an additional appropriation of $10 million in fiscal year 2024.
Does this budget contain hidden fund transfers or supplemental expenditures that work to enact new policy or are not valid emergency expenditures? Conversely, are fund transfers only made to stabilization funds or are supplemental requests only made in the interest of resolving valid fiscal emergencies?
The Department of Parks and Recreation noted that they only have about $70 million in shovel-ready deferred maintenance projects throughout the state. Senate Bill 1196 appropriates $5 million more than this amount for improvements and another $10 million for cooperative projects with other agencies for a total of $85 million. The lack of spare money for general improvements is not a fiscal emergency.
For perspective, this supplemental request is 10.5% larger than the agency’s entire original appropriation from the legislature for the 2023 fiscal year. This supplemental is excessive and should have been planned in the request for fiscal year 2024 appropriations. Providing funding above the agency’s demonstrated needs as a supplemental is especially egregious and wasteful. It also does not address a valid fiscal emergency.