Available Soon: Request your printed copies of the Idaho Freedom Index mailed to you!
Request Your Copies
Note to Dustin: This is currently only visible to logged in users for testing.
Click Me!
video could not be found

Senate Bill 1382 – Department of Fish and Game, Appropriations FY25

Senate Bill 1382 – Department of Fish and Game, Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
March 5, 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: -4

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1382 appropriates $154,533,300 and 550.00 full-time positions to the Department of Fish and Game for fiscal year 2025.

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.)? 

There are several wasteful provisions in this legislation.

The first is funding to overhaul the agency’s website at a total cost of $750,000. The website does need some upgrades to functions that will soon be obsolete. The price tag for the total cost of the project, however, is excessive. The project is expected to cost an additional $350,000 in the 2026 fiscal year for a total price tag of $1.1 million.

There is also a request for $390,600 to raise the pay for seasonal and temporary employees. This after the Legislature appropriated $1.7 million in the 2024 fiscal year for the department to issue targeted salary increases to recruit and retain temporary staff. 

Finally, this request also includes $3 million for improvements to the Pocatello office, with $1.2 million of this funding coming from the federal government. The facility will undergo a renovation, complete with a new wing to the building, new furnishings, and upgraded technology. The department vaguely cites a new rule related to hosting public meetings to justify the expense. However, this request appears to be excessive, given the circumstance.


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 confirms the maintenance budget for the Department of Fish and Game of $137,580,200. This growth from the FY 2022 base is higher than what would be prescribed by inflationary pressures and growth.


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?

Senate Bill 1382 appropriates more than $62 million in federal funding to support the Department of Fish and Game. This constitutes more than 40% of the total agency budget. These funds also support 221 of the agency's 550 full-time equivalent positions. This demonstrates that the department depends heavily on federal funding to support its operations.


Does the budget grow government through the addition of new permanent FTPs or through funding unlegislated efforts to create new or expanded entitlement programs? Conversely, does this budget reduce the size of government staff and programs except where compelled by new legislation?

This legislation contains two line item requests to add a total of three full-time equivalent positions. These positions are intended to manage the interaction between humans and wildlife. Specifically, one position will work within the grizzly bear conflict management program while the other two positions will work in the livestock depredation prevention program. The grizzly bear position will be entirely federally funded.

The addition of these new positions are a sign of growth in an already large government agency. Programs like Livestock Depredation Prevention, are being used to grow government to manage a problem it created after predators that threaten Idaho livestock, like wolves. 


Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
p 208.258.2280 | e [email protected]
COPYRIGHT © 2024 Idaho freedom Foundation
magnifiercrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram