Idaho's top legislative leaders have approved a new system for estimating the cost of proposed legislation on the state's general fund.
In Idaho, bill sponsors are solely responsible for determining the financial impact of their legislation. There is no consequence if the estimated cost of a bill is wrong. Furthermore, the Idaho Legislature does not track if legislation estimates are accurate, so it's unclear how many bills may have incorrectly stated their fiscal impact.
Under the new pilot program, lawmakers would be assigned a designated legislative data analyst who would review the proposal and work with various state agencies to help come up with a correct dollar amount.
The 14-member legislative council approved the project on Friday.
The program is strictly voluntary. Lawmakers will still have access to the Legislature's data analysts even if they don't go through the program.