The Idaho Spending Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add some important context to lawmakers’ discussions as the spending bills are considered on the House and Senate floors. As we look at the budget, we consider the following issues:
Does the agency requesting these funds serve a proper role of government? Has wasteful or duplicative spending been identified within the agency, and if so, has that spending been eliminated or corrected? Have budget-writers reviewed existing outlays to look for opportunities to contain spending, e.g., through a base reduction? If there is a maintenance budget, is that maintenance budget appropriate? Are the line items appropriate in type and size, and are they absolutely necessary for serving the public? Does the budget contemplate adding new employees or programs? Does the appropriation increase dependency on the federal government?
Our analysis is intended to provide lawmakers and their constituents with a frame of reference for conservative budgeting, by summarizing whether appropriation measures contain items that are truly objectionable or legitimate and worthy of support.
Bill Description: FY22 Appropriation for the Office of the Attorney General
This bill is a redo of H271 that failed the House on a 29-40 vote. The original bill, H271 requested a 4.7% General Fund increase with three discretionary line items for the AG’s Office: $483,000 for litigation funds, $94,000 for a paralegal position, and $150,000 for mediation costs.
S1206 makes one change to H271, it reduces the Litigation line item by $150k. However even with this reduction, the AG’s General Fund budget will increase 4.1% from the FY21 original appropriation. This is a larger increase than the proposed General Fund budget increases for the LTG’s budget, the Executive Office of the Governor, the Treasury Office’s budget, and the Secretary of State’s budget. Only the Controller’s Office has a larger increase.