CSG-W, Rio Grande Foundation on Trinity Broadcasting

CSG-W, Rio Grande Foundation on Trinity Broadcasting

Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing and CSG-W director Carl Graham sat down in Trinity Broadcasting’s Albuquerque studios for a talk about federal lands and the risks of not knowing how federal funds are spent in New Mexico.

Full 15 minute or so interview is here.

ID Gov Orders More Fed Funds Transparency, Preparation

Idaho’s Governor Butch Otter issued an Executive Order last week directing state agencies to identify federal funds in their budgets, what those funds are for, and how the agency would cope with a ten percent cut in federal funding.

You can read more about in an Idaho Reporter story here.

The full Executive Order is here.

This is a great first step for Idaho in getting a handle on the risks of increasing dependence on federal dollars for core state and local government functions, and making plans for when those federal dollars inevitably start to dwindle.

Poll: Idahoans Want Financial Readiness

NEWS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 13, 2014

Information Contact: Wayne Hoffman (208) 258-2280 ext. 211

 

Poll: Idahoans underestimate dependence on federal dollars, wary of potential D.C. spending crisis 

A survey of Idahoans finds most believe the state’s reliance on federal funding is a big problem, and that the governor and Legislature should do more to track the federal money the state receives.

In addition, 67 percent say it is “very important” that the state make preparations in case federal funding for the state is reduced due to budgetary changes in Washington, D.C., while another 23 percent agrees that it is “somewhat important.”

The statewide public opinion survey was released today by the Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) and the Center for Self-Government in the West as part of their Financial Ready Idaho project.

According to the poll results, more than two-thirds want to see the state’s dependence on Washington, D.C., reduced and more than 80 percent believe the state should have a contingency plan for financial readiness in case federal funding is reduced.

“Idahoans are being misled by lawmakers,” said Wayne Hoffman, IFF’s president. “They love to talk about pushing back against the feds, but it seems Idaho’s politicians can’t find enough opportunities to accept their money as our reliance on federal dollars increases year after year.”

The survey of 500 Idahoans was conducted Jan. 20-22 by a national polling company. Among its clients are former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“Idahoans have obviously made the connection between being dependent on D.C. dollars and the risk of those dollars being cut. They want a plan to make sure the state’s basic needs will be met, and there will be a lot of explaining to do if they don’t get one,” said Carl Graham, director of The Center for Self-Government in the West.

Idahoans broadly agree that the acceptance of federal money by the state is problematic:

More than half of Idaho’s registered voters incorrectly believe that less than 30 percent of the state’s budget is federal dollars, according to a statewide public opinion survey. The actual figure of federal dollars used in the state budget is 36 percent.

90 percent say that Idaho state government should conduct an annual inventory and record keeping of federal funds coming into the state. 59 percent are more likely to support a candidate who campaigns on reducing or rejecting some federal monies to limit the federal government influence in Idaho.

“This poll clearly shows that Idahoans understand that as our dependence increases, so does our vulnerability to the chaotic forces of Washington, D.C. And they understand that none of those dollars come without some strings attached,” said Hoffman. “Politicians should take note.”

The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) is a nonpartisan educational research institute and government watchdog dedicated to improving the lives of Idahoans.

The Sutherland Institute Center for Self-Government in the West protects freedom and opportunity in Utah and the West by promoting federalism and equipping state leaders—both public and private—to reclaim their powers and responsibilities in the United States Constitution.

Idaho policymakers know too little about the federal money that makes up more than a third of the state budget—leaving the state and its citizens unprepared for the next funding crisis from Washington, D.C., according to a separate report released by the Idaho Freedom Foundation and Sutherland Institute’s Center for Self-Government in the West.

The report notes that Idaho’s reliance on federal money has grown 82 percent in the last 10 years, and the state now depends on more than $2.3 billion to fund hundreds of programs ranging from law enforcement to education, yet few systems are in place allowing policymakers to see the full picture of what the federal money is funding.

To view the full report, click HERE.

To view the polling presentation, click HERE.

 

###

Idaho unprepared for next federal funding crisis

The Idaho Freedom Foundation has just released a report on the state’s reliance on federal funds that says, in a nutshell, that the state doesn’t know how reliant it is on federal funds and that it might be prudent to plan for the day those funds are reduced or cut off, as happened during the sequester and recent shutdown.

Here’s the press release. A link to the full study is at the end.

Boise – Idaho policymakers know too little about the federal money that makes up more than a third of the state budget—leaving the state and its citizens unprepared for the next funding crisis from Washington, D.C., according to a report released Wednesday by the Idaho Freedom Foundation and Sutherland Institute’s Center for Self-Government in the West.

The report notes that Idaho’s reliance on federal money has grown 82 percent in the last 10 years, and the state now depends on more than $2.3 billion to fund hundreds of programs ranging from law enforcement to education, yet few systems are in place allowing policymakers to see the full picture of what the federal money is funding.

Furthermore, the study finds no one really knows exactly how many state employees depend on federal funding for their paychecks, complicating matters in the event the federal government cuts funding to the states. Other problems in the report include too much latitude given to agencies to accept federal money, and agencies accepting grants that fall outside the scope of state law.

Wayne Hoffman, president of IFF, authored the report and said the recent news that the federal government is withholding $14.5 million, threatening the state’s public school broadband network, is reason to worry about the next bombshell from Washington, D.C.

“We don’t know what the next federal budget crisis will be, but it’s obvious one is coming,” Hoffman said. “The least Idaho lawmakers can do right now is take steps to prepare. Lawmakers need to know the details of what’s in our state budget so they can measure the effectiveness and reliance on federal funding and act in their constituents’ best interests.”

Carl Graham, director of The Center for Self-Government in the West, believes states need to recognize the risks of taking federal funds. “We need to see where these funds are spent and assess the risks we’ve accepted by taking them.”

The Idaho Freedom Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization and government watchdog dedicated to free market solutions, private property rights, individual responsibility and transparent, limited government.

The Sutherland Institute Center for Self-Government in the West protects freedom and opportunity in Utah and the West by promoting federalism and equipping state leaders—both public and private—to reclaim their powers and responsibilities in the United States Constitution.

The press release is here.

And read the full report, click here.

Financial Readiness in Utah

Our families plan for snow and fire and earthquakes and job losses and illness and a whole host of things by knowing what we have, what we need, and what to do if there’s a temporary gap between those two things. States should do the same.

In 2011 Utah passed HB138, the Federal Receipts and Reporting Act. It’s pretty simple, actually. It requires an annual inventory of most federal funds coming into the state, and a contingency plan if those funds are reduced by 5% and 25%.

The sequester and 2013 federal government shutdown demonstrated to Utahns both the need and the usefulness of this kind of planning as federal cuts directly impacted our communities. And they showed what happens without planning as the federal government implemented across the board cuts that didn’t do any prioritizing or assessing real impacts on real people.

Utah’s 2013 Federal Receipts Reporting provides a handy guide not just to federal government largess, but also to key vulnerabilities if and when federal support to the state is reduced under the budgetary pressures they’re feeling in D.C. Utah gets about a third of its budget from Washington. This money comes mostly from discretionary spending that will come under increasing pressure as our federal representatives struggle with maintaining entitlement programs for future generations. If and when cuts to state subsidies and grants do come, we should be financially ready.