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 1426 appropriates $1,316,500 to the Idaho State Police Endangered and Missing Person Alert Program for fiscal year 2023.
Senate Bill 1426 funds the creation of the Endangered and Missing Person Alert Program, created by Senate Bill 1378. This bill created Section 67-2922, Idaho Code, to establish a new statewide alert system known as the "Endangered Missing Person Alert". Even without debating the appropriateness of the state issuing such alerts, the state already has systems in place to do this. The bill's statement of purpose suggests the overarching reason for this proposal is "to allow Idaho to communicate with all the surrounding states who currently utilize this system."
Senate Bill 1426 appropriates more than $1.3 million to establish the program. The fiscal note for Senate Bill 1378 notes that this cost includes $400,000 for an "Updated Missing Persons Website, hosting of the website, reprogramming for desktop and mobile views, reprogramming for ADA and compliance." Ongoing maintenance and support costs are estimated at $87,000 annually.