Cutbacks-Idaho Style

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Case studies of state budgeting can provide valuable insights into the process, the politics, and the unique fiscal constraints of budget making and execution in our 50 states. The Caiden and Chapman study of California budgeting depicts very well the flow of events and remaking of budgets that took place in all stages of the California budget process in the early 1980s.1 The Brazer study of the Michigan fiscal crises from 1947 through 1982, the Cope and Grubb article on the Texas fiscal situation, and the Jennings paper on cutbacks in Missouri have all added to our knowledge of state finance and budgeting in times of fiscal stress.2 This article provides a case study of the process of budget remaking that occurred in a small state (Idaho) in 1982 and 19893. Unlike most other case studies, the article is largely limited to events in the execution stage of the budget and to issues such as the targeting and controllability of expenditure reductions.