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 1386 – Historical Society, Appropriations FY25

Senate Bill 1386 – Historical Society, Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
March 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: -3

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1386 appropriates $12,120,000 and 59.00 full-time positions to the Historical Society 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.)? 

Senate Bill 1386 appropriates $1,650,000 for various projects to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This funding is entirely composed of General Fund revenues. It will be used to provide 24 grants that “enhance Idaho history, literacy, culture, and civic engagement.” This includes a new website, show on Idaho Public Television, and a book.

The justification for this grant is that other states would be doing the same thing in anticipation of the 250th anniversary of our nation’s founding. This wasteful expenditure, however, could be spent on public services, or better yet, returned to the taxpayers.


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 program maintenance budget for the Historical Society of $10,087,800. This growth from the FY 2022 base is 11 points 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?

Overall, this budget makes the Historical Society depend on federal funds to support 20% of the appropriations for its programs and operations. This demonstrates significant dependency on federal funding.

Additionally, this budget also adds one staffer at $101,200 for a new administrative support manager. This position was not denoted as a new full-time position because it already exists as an unfunded position. It was left unfunded because the money that would have been allocated to it was used to bolster salaries for other staff. This position would receive 30% of its funding from federal grants, increasing the state’s dependence on the federal government.


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 budget requests the addition of two new full-time equivalent positions to staff the Old Idaho Penitentiary. These positions will be exclusively funded by revenues generated from admissions fees to the site. Though this grows the size of the agency by two positions, this does not encumber additional tax revenues.

Some may argue that this would encumber tax revenues should admissions revenues to the Old Idaho Penitentiary fall in subsequent years. This is speculative, however. It would be equally likely that the agency could opt to cut the positions altogether, given the lower attendance at the site.


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