Breaking down the state budget

Breaking down the state budget

Print
Email
|

by Scott Evans

Bio | Email | Follow: @ScottEvansKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 5:09 PM

BOISE – Idaho lawmakers have set the 2014 state budget. It's the third highest budget in state history.

The first and second highest budgets were in 2008 and 2009, right before the recession.

Going back to 1993, the state's budget is made up mainly of three areas, education, Health and Welfare and corrections. They make up about 90 percent of the budget each year. But how the pie is split up has changed over the past two decades.

Rep. Maxine Bell has been on the House Appropriations Committee for the last 22 years. It’s a committee she now chairs.

"Idaho has grown terrifically in the last 22 years," said Bell.

The growth is not only in population, which went up 43 percent, but need has increased as well.

Here's a breakdown of the state budget in 1993 and 2014.

In 1993, education took up 70 percent of the budget, Health and Welfare 16 percent and adult and juvenile corrections 3.7 percent.

In 2014, education dropped to 60 percent of the budget. Health and Welfare increased to 22 percent and corrections is now nearly 8 percent.

Even though education takes up less of the pie, the budget amount increased nearly 60 percent while student population grew 25 percent.

Bell says part of that cost increase is gas prices for school buses and medical insurance for teachers, and classroom supplies that weren’t around 20 years ago.

"So all of the elements that go into providing education have continued to go up," said Bell.

A big reason for Health and Welfare's six percent increase comes from more people needing help, about 175 percent more. Right now, Bell says one in four Idahoans are getting help from Health and Welfare. But it's more than just more people who need help, since Health and Welfare’s staff shrunk 14 percent in the last 15 years.

"The cost of medicine; we don't have a handle on that, I don't think anybody in the nation has a handle on it," said Bell.

Then you have corrections, a budget that more than doubled.

"Some of the growth in Idaho, some of those people that moved into Idaho were obviously not as law abiding as we would have liked them to be," said Bell.

But that's not the only reason for the increase. Bell says they want to do more than warehouse criminals.

"It's medical for them and it's also us trying to change lives and turn people around, and take care of addictions," said Bell.

Idaho's budget this year is a set at $2.78 billion. That's a 2.8 percent increase over last year.

Here’s a breakdown of the areas compared to last year:

Education increased 2.6 percent.
Health and Welfare increased 1.1 percent.
Adult and juvenile corrections increased 6.3 percent.

Only the corrections percentage increase was more than the state’s overall percentage increase.

If you want to see the numbers and how they break down for the 2014 Legislative Budget Book, click here.

Print
Email
|