Quick Look at the State Budget

Date: April 05, 2014

NFIB/Idaho State Director Suzanne Budge takes a look at the new state budget, now that the Legislature has ended its 2014 session. Her legislative wrap-up on issues important for small business can be found here.

From under the dome, many insiders will point to more education funding as the most prominent achievement of the 2014 session.  
Lawmakers more than doubled what Gov. Butch Otter proposed, upping his ante by $66 million in additional general fund dollars to increase the K-12 education budget by more than 5.1 percent in Fiscal Year 2015, bringing the total to $1.37 billion, which is 47 percent of general fund dollars. 
When dedicated and federal funds are added, the total financing for K-12 education rises to $1.68 billion. The Legislature also implemented several recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force for Improving Education, including:
  • leadership premium payments to public school educators
  • strategic planning and professional development
  • increasing teacher compensation
  • classroom technology and Wi-Fi services.
Just How Big Is Idaho’s Budget?
Here are a few big-picture statistics about the state of Idaho’s budget, revenues and expenditures for FY2015 beginning on July 1, 2014:
The Legislature’s estimated a 6.4 percent growth rate in revenues for FY 2015 compared to 2.1 percent in FY2014. This represents the fourth straight year of revenue growth, which allowed for an overall spending increase of 5.6 percent. 
Here are a few key budgets and how they changed from the previous year:
  • Public Schools received a 5.1 percent increase
  • Higher education received a 6.6 percent increase
  • Medicaid received a 3.1 percent increase
  • Department of Corrections received an 11 percent increase
  • State employees received a 2 percent increase
  • Teachers received a 3.8 percent increase.
Where The Money Comes From
General Fund ($2.812 billion)
  • Individual income tax, 47 percent
  • Sales tax, 41 percent
  • Corporate income tax, 7 percent
  • All other taxes, 5 percent. 
Where The Money Goes
General Fund appropriation ($2.789 billion)
  • Public schools, other education and colleges and universities, 60 percent
  • Health and human services, 24 percent
  • Public safety, 10 percent
  • General government, 4 percent
  • Natural resources, 1 percent
  • Economic development, 1 percent
The Rest of the Spending Story
Now here’s an interesting note:  We mostly refer to the Idaho General Fund, which comes from income and sales taxes. But looking at all appropriations, Idaho’s budget more than doubles when dedicated funds and federal funds are included. Idaho’s spending jumps from $2.789 billion to $6.688 billion when all funds are accounted for. For contrast with “General Funds” (a smaller number) and all funds, here are the same categories, now including all appropriations:  
Where it comes from: 
  • General Fund, 44 percent
  • Federal funds, 36 percent
  • Dedicated funds, 20 percent
Where it goes:  
  • Health and human services, 38 percent
  • Education, 36 percent
  • Economic development, 11 percent
  • Public safety, 6 percent
  • General government, 5 percent
  • Natural resources, 4 percent
Total of all funds of $6.688 billion.
Rainy Day Funds
Idaho lawmakers have created and funded several so-called “rainy day” funds, totaling $260 million and change. This year lawmakers transferred $56 million more into these reserve funds. Here’s how this individual fund breaks out.
  • Budget Stabilization Fund: $161,514,000
  • Public Education Stabilization Fund: $72,827,000
  • Economic Recovery Reserve: $57,000
  • Idaho Millennium Fund: $19,855,000 
  • Higher Education Stabilization Fund: $3,227,000 
  • Emergency Funds: $3,324,000

Related Content: Small Business News | Idaho

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Idaho’s spending jumps from $2.789 billion to $6.688 billion when all funds are accounted for.

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