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: Senate Bill 1408 appropriates $15 million to the Workforce Development Council as a FY22 supplemental.
This appropriation takes ARPA funds from the federal government. Senate Bill 1204 (2021) acknowledged that these funds are borrowed from our grandchildren. The bill then uses the money to provide grants for childcare infrastructure. Essentially, we are borrowing money to provide childcare resources, which should be an entirely private sector function and not one funded by borrowed federal funds. Additionally, the shortage in childcare could become a surplus in a downturn, and these grants could result in a malinvestment since federal money will be used to compete with the existing childcare businesses.
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.