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Senate Bill 1388 – Secretary of State, Appropriations FY25

Senate Bill 1388 – Secretary of State, Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
March 4, 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 1388 appropriates $5,233,800 and 35.50 full-time positions to the Secretary of State for fiscal year 2025.

Does this budget enact powers and activities that extend beyond the proper role of government? Conversely, does this budget fulfill the proper role of government?

This legislation appropriates an additional $17,500 in ongoing spending for the Address Confidentiality program, with $12,500 to cover increased participation in the program.

This contains a wasteful provision for an additional $5,000 to host the National Association of Confidential Address Program’s annual conference. Not only is this an unnecessary expense, but it is requested as an ongoing expenditure to create a new Businesses Against Trafficking Program. This program is designed to be a way for the agency to interact with anti-trafficking organizations and nonprofits, as well as law enforcement, to develop educational materials that will be distributed to businesses.

This is beyond the proper role of the Secretary of State, as local private organizations and law enforcement agencies are already filling this role. 


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 1388 includes $20,000 in ongoing travel costs and related expenses for elections staff within the office to become Certified Elections/Registration Administrators (CERA). This is a new initiative piloted by the new Secretary of State. 

This is a frivolous expense for several reasons. First, this is not a mandatory curriculum. It is an optional curriculum administered by a nonprofit entity that provides general election administration training. 

Second, this certification offers to teach concepts like “election administration, ethics, laws, and regulations.” Being that elections are administered at the state level, Idaho statutes and regulations are the only governing authority, with the exception of some case law. These are concepts that are not best taught through a national certification, but through in-house training. The Secretary of State’s office is already well-equipped to administer such training on Idaho’s election laws and regulations.


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 Secretary of State of $4,738,800. This growth from the FY 2022 base is nearly 73% higher than what would be prescribed by inflationary pressures and growth.


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