Gov. Little highlights plan for education investments, tax relief in 2022 State of the State and Budget Address
Boise, ID (STL.News) During his State of the State and Budget Address, Governor Brad Little reflected on the strength of Idaho’s economy and state budget before detailing his LEADING IDAHO plan to put more money back in the pockets of Idahoans and make strategic investments in education and other areas to propel Idaho even further ahead.
“Idaho’s success is no accident,” Governor Little said. “While other states liquidated their rainy-day funds and begged politicians in Washington, D.C., for a bailout, together we rolled up our sleeves, made tough decisions, and led Idaho.”
Highlights of Governor Little’s State of the State and Budget Address and LEADING IDAHO plan include:
- FISCAL DISCIPLINE – A red-hot economy combined with years of fiscal conservatism have positioned Idaho for yet another record budget surplus. Idaho’s surplus is the highest it’s ever been – $1.9 billion and counting – which represents 40-percent of the General Fund. Governor Little proposes paying off state building debt, clearing out one-third of backlogged repairs in infrastructure, and bringing rainy-day funds to a record level.
- EDUCATION – Governor Little proposes making the largest investment ever in Idaho education – more than $1.1 billion over the next five years. Key areas include literacy, teacher pay and benefits, and the new EMPOWERING PARENTS grants to keep families in control of their children’s education.
- TAX RELIEF – In Governor Little’s first term, we have given back $1 billion in tax relief to the people of Idaho, and now Governor Little proposes more than $1 billion more in tax relief to working families over the next five years. It is especially important to deploy tax relief immediately to ease the burden of living with historic inflation under Biden’s watch. Governor Little also proposes locking in tax cuts for Idaho small businesses.
- TRANSPORTATION – Governor Little championed historic investments in transportation infrastructure last year without raising taxes or fees. This year, he is proposing continued investments in roads and bridges to keep up with growth, keep Idahoans safe, facilitate commerce, and save Idahoans time on the road. The plan includes $200 million in one-time funding for local bridges and $200 million in ongoing funding to fully fund known maintenance gaps with no new taxes.
- PUBLIC SAFETY – Access to our country at the U.S.-Mexico border is being controlled by Mexico drug cartels. The Biden Administration’s inaction is contributing to a growing drug threat in Idaho. Governor Little will roll out “OPERATION ESTO PERPETUA” in the coming weeks, a step that will bring together law enforcement and families in new ways to fight the influx of killer drugs such as fentanyl into our state.
- BEHAVIORAL HEALTH – Governor Little’s plan accelerates implementation of recommendations from the three-branch Behavioral Health Council. His plan puts $50 million to enhance access to behavioral health resources for Idahoans of all ages to improve lives and make our communities safer.
- ELECTION INTEGRITY – To elevate Idahoans’ trust in their elections, enhance transparency, and give citizens confidence their vote matters, Governor Little proposes the new Cyber Response and Defense Fund and proactive integrity audits.
A detailed summary of the Governor’s budget highlights, including investments in education, public safety, transportation, broadband, agriculture and natural resources, water quantity and quality, fire, outdoor recreation, energy, healthcare capacity, veterans homes, and other areas is available here: https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/fy23-budget-highlights_jan2022.pdf
The full text of the Governor’s 2022 State of the State and Budget Address is available here: https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/2022-sots.pdf