The Idaho Spending Index examines appropriation bills on several fronts to add important context to lawmakers’ discussions as the spending bills are considered on the House and Senate floors. 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: Senate Bill 1394 appropriates $89,259,300 and 435.80 full-time positions to the Military Division for fiscal year 2023.
Senate Bill 1394 demonstrates that the Military Division has a markedly small amount of self-sufficiency as a state-level agency. Interestingly, only 0.2% of their budget is appropriated through dedicated funds. This means that the remaining amount comes from federal funding and the General Fund. Notably, the Military Division is mostly federally dependent, relying on Washington, DC to supply more than $73.6 million to fund 82% of their budget. This fiscal reliance makes the division highly susceptible to federal influence through the strings attached to their funding streams.
For example, the American Rescue Plan Act is used to provide more than $1.3 million of funding for Emergency Management Grants to finance COVID-19 related emergency operations at the state and local level. Therefore, this bill contemplates the extension of an emergency, despite the Governor’s declaration that it will end on Apr 15, 2022, before the start of the 2023 fiscal year.