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UPDATE: Idaho Freedom Foundation Calls For Major Cuts to Health and Human Services, Natural Resources in Budget Proposal


Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman - JEREMY LANNINGHAM
  • Jeremy Lanningham
  • Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman
UPDATE: December 17, 2015

As a point of clarification, Idaho Freedom Foundation CEO Wayne Hoffman said his organization's proposed Idaho budget for Fiscal Year 2017, contemplates all agencies (with the exception of K-12 and higher ed spending), to begin with 98 percent of what was earmarked for the current fiscal year. IFF argues that with the lesser base, some departments' "adjustments" would actually put them over FY 2016 amounts, i.e. IDOC and the Department of Environmental Quality, while others, including Medicaid, the Independent Living Council, Idaho State Police, Parks and Recreation and the Secretary of State's office would be lower than FY 2016.

ORIGINAL POST: December 16, 2015 2 p.m.

Even though it is not a taxing entity, nor does it ask Idahoans to vote its own decision makers into office, the Idaho Freedom Foundation took the puzzling step Wednesday of issuing its own Idaho Fiscal Year 2017 "budget,' saying its conservative spending plan features $100 million-$200 million in tax relief.

Following the release of his organization's "budget," Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman said the conceptual spending plan "sets the stage for dramatic reductions in taxes—reductions that are good for Idaho, good for Idahoans and affordable."

The proposal calls for some serious base budget reductions, including a $9.9 base reduction to Medicaid and an additional $2.9 reduction to the Department of Health and Welfare. Additionally, the Freedom Foundation wants a $4 million base reduction for the Department of Correction, nearly $800,000 less for the Department of Juvenile Corrections and $440,000 less for Idaho State Police.

When it comes to natural resources, the Freedom Foundation would offer base budget reductions of more than $300,000 from the Department of Environmental Quality and more than $200,000 from the Department of Water Resources.

Other big base reductions would come to agricultural research and extension ($574,724), health education ($245,310), the Department of Agriculture ($211,812) and the attorney general's office ($420,828).

Hoffman released IFF's budget document in a press conference held in an Idaho Statehouse committee hearing room Wednesday, sharing his comments with a YouTube audience.