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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Changes in state funding formula for public health districts recommended

Idaho’s seven public health districts get 17 percent of their funding from the state general fund, according to a legislative performance audit released by the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee today. That’s equal to the share they get from local county contributions. Other funding includes 45 percent from contracts, 20 percent from fees and 1 percent from state Millenium funds.

The state portion is distributed through a formula, which since 1993 has taken into account county contributions, population, poverty rates and rates of public assistance. A change in the formula came in 2013, due to changes in Medicaid data that was used to calculate poverty rates and public assistance that made those figures unreliable. So new weights were given to the other measures. That caused some districts to lose funding and others to gain; the biggest gainer was District 2, which collected $62,600 more in state funds in 2014 vs. 2013; the biggest loser was District 3, which collected $26,300 less. The report recommends some changes in the formula for the future to better address needs; Gov. Butch Otter, in his response to the report, called the recommendations "reasonable." You can see the full report online here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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