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Senate Bill 1447 – Budget Stabilization Cap and Transfers, Appropriations FY25

Senate Bill 1447 – Budget Stabilization Cap and Transfers, 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: -1

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1447 transfers $36 million from the Public Defense Fund to the General Fund and lifts the statutory cap on the balance for the Budget Stabilization Fund 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 suspends the statutory cap on the balance of the Budget Stabilization Fund for the 2025 fiscal year. According to the statement of purpose for this bill, General Fund revenues are down by 5.1% this year compared to the 2023 fiscal year. This would ordinarily result in $33.5 million being returned to the General Fund — about 3.8% of the total fund balance. Instead, this legislation would permit these excess monies to remain in the Budget Stabilization Fund.

Fundamentally, these funds do not belong to the state, but to the people. This bill creates a workaround that prevents these funds from being returned to the General Fund and counted as surplus, meaning they could  be returned to the taxpayer. It is a waste of taxpayer funds to encumber them in a government savings account when they should be rightfully returned to the people.


Does this budget contain hidden fund transfers or supplemental expenditures that work to enact new policy or are not valid emergency expenditures? Conversely, are fund transfers only made to stabilization funds or are supplemental requests only made in the interest of resolving valid fiscal emergencies?

Senate Bill 1447 provides for one supplemental transfer that corrects a $36 million overpayment to the Public Defense Fund. This transfer  will rightfully return these monies to the General Fund. This is an appropriate use of a supplemental request and transfer.


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