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Senate Bill 1270 – Economic Development, Maintenance Appropriations FY25

Senate Bill 1270 – Economic Development, Maintenance Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
February 1, 2024

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

Rating: 0

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1270 appropriates $1,320,620,800 and 3,780.28 full-time positions to support the maintenance of current operations in the Economic Development budget group for fiscal year 2025.

Fiscal year 2025 is the first time the Legislature considered funding maintenance budgets separately from any budget enhancements or other adjustments. The maintenance budget excludes one-time expenditures, nondiscretionary spending, and replacement items are all removed from the maintenance budget. Changes to the base, enhancement requests, nondiscretionary spending, and discretionary spending will come in the form of line item adjustments in stand-alone budget bills later in the session. 

The various state departments are funded in 10 appropriations bills, with each bill covering two or more departments, each with a similar or related core government function. The Idaho Freedom Foundation is neutral on these requests, given the need to fund certain services and functions. However, this request for the Economic Development functional area sustains funding for several problematic agencies that should be addressed in the budget enhancement bills to come later in the session. We may view maintenance budgets more critically should more egregious examples present themselves in the future.

We have concerns about the following agencies and spending categories included in this legislation:

  • Department of Commerce
  • Commission on Hispanic Affairs
  • Commission for Libraries
  • State Lottery
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