The Idaho Spending Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add important context to lawmakers’ discussions as they are considered on the floor of the House and Senate. Among the issues we look at in drawing a conclusion about a budget:
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? Does the budget examine existing spending 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 the addition of 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 sincerely objectionable or sincerely supportable.
Bill description: S1292 grants a $1 million supplemental appropriation to the State Board of Education for public school arts programs.
The office of the State Board of Education requests $1 million from the General Fund for grants to expand fine arts, performing arts, and other courses in public schools. This supplemental would require public schools to apply for grants and include a sustainability plan in their application. Which is odd because this supplemental is a one-time appropriation that will be removed from the FY23 base.
This equates to putting $1 million into schools for arts and asking them for a plan, when this is one-time money. This is a recipe for spending it because you have it.
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