Idaho Office Of Performance Evaluations

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

A national group of public servants and academics is urging Idaho political leaders to not take away the independence of the legislature’s watchdog office.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

State lawmakers are considering moving the legislature’s independent watchdog division under their supervision.

Independent state evaluators say Idaho has spent $10 million on private legal counsel each year since 2011.

The Office of Performance Evaluations told lawmakers Monday that most outside legal work could be provided by the state's attorney general's office. However, limited resources inside Idaho's legal office have hindered how much state attorneys can take on.

Idaho has also paid $1.7 million since 2005 in opposing attorney fees. That includes the roughly $400,000 Idaho paid to the attorneys who successfully overturned the state's gay marriage ban.