It's official, the Idaho Legislature is now in session.  Governor Little kicked off the session with his annual state of the state speech.  The governor surprised the audience by mentioning the protests last week in Washington DC.  He pledged that this year Idahoans will get more money back from their state government. Governor Little told the state that the state has had a responsible approach to governing during the pandemic.  Despite vocal statewide criticism, the governor said the state's strong economy, and quick action during the pandemic have resulted in a record surplus in the state budget.  He said other states states face budget cuts of 20- to 40-percent and more in a news release of the speech.

“Together, we laid the groundwork before the pandemic to rebound quickly during tough times, proving once again that conservative principles of governing bring opportunity for our citizens during the highs and the lows,” Governor Little said.

Let's go over his plan step by step...

  • TAX RELIEF: Governor Little proposes more than $450 million in tax relief, among the single largest tax cuts in Idaho history. His plan includes $295 million in one-time tax relief. He is also proposing $160 million in permanent tax cuts to boost Idahoans’ prosperity while keep our tax rates competitive and our business climate vibrant.

 

  • TRANSPORTATION: Governor Little proposes $126 million in state and local highway infrastructure projects to help preserve one of our citizens’ most precious commodities: their time. He proposes $80 million in new ongoing transportation funding because he said “we cannot ignore a growing problem that steals Idahoans’ time and threatens their safety and our economic prosperity. We must act now.”

 

  • EDUCATION: Governor Little proposes investments in literacy to close achievement gaps that widened for some students during the pandemic. His plan invests in higher education and career technical education training programs across Idaho.

 

  • LAW ENFORCEMENT: Governor Little’s plan invests in the items necessary to support frontline personnel at the Idaho State Police and training for our local frontline police officers. “While other states seek to defund the police, I am proud to say that Idaho DEFENDS the police. Idaho ‘backs the blue.’”

 

  • BROADBAND: Following $50 million broadband infrastructure investments last year, Governor Little’s plan continues the momentum with $35 million for new investments in internet connectivity for underserved areas to improve commerce, economic growth, and education.

 

  • WATER AND AGRICULTURE: Governor Little’s plan supports major water infrastructure projects and needed projects for agriculture and outdoor recreation.

 

  • SMALL BUSINESS: Governor Little proposes more support for small businesses in Idaho, on top of the $300 million in direct support for small businesses last year.

 

  • CRIMINAL JUSTICE INVESTMENTS AND CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION: Governor Little’s plan keeps us on a path to safer communities and taxpayer savings by making strategic investments in overdue needs in our criminal justice system, to break the expensive revolving door of repeat offenders. Other funds will catch up on the backlog of deferred maintenance in state buildings and address other needs.

Conservatives Republicans held their own event promoting their agenda.  We will share those items with you this week.

 

Rose Garden at Julia Davis Park