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Senate Bill 1446 – Legislative Services Office, Legislative Impact Reviews, Appropriations FY25

Senate Bill 1446 – Legislative Services Office, Legislative Impact Reviews, Appropriations FY25

Niklas Kleinworth
March 25, 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: 0

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1446 appropriates $533,700 to provide support for legislative impact reviews within the Legislative Services Office 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.)? 

This legislation aims to reduce waste by providing a mechanism of accountability in the budget process. The legislature is at a disadvantage when setting budgets and understanding how executive agencies are spending appropriated funds. Agencies obscuring their activities from a part-time legislature permits wasteful spending and thwarts mechanisms of accountability. House Bill 1446 seeks to balance power between the legislature and Idaho’s permanent ruling class.


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?

Senate Bill 1446 expands the number of staff operating within the Legislative Services Office. This legislation would add four new full-time equivalent positions to support research for legislative impact reviews. There is no plan to offset this increase in staff members, growing the overall size and ongoing costs of government. 

The legislature already has a division and staff that could be repurposed to perform legislative impact reviews — the Office of Performance Evaluation. Considering the scope of the government, the number of programs, and the desire for Senate Bill 1446, the OPE has demonstrated little value to the legislature at this point. Between 2020 and 2023, the OPE only published an average of five reports per year. This severely limits what could be studied and understanding whether agencies are meeting expectations. It would behoove the legislature to consider repurposing an ineffective program rather than expanding the size of government.


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