Idaho Governor Little: legislation that Pays off Debt

Gov. Little: Paying off debt, addressing needed repairs, paying cash for big projects is simple ‘kitchen table’ budgeting

Boise, ID (STL.News) Governor Brad Little commented on his signature this week of legislation that pays off state building debt, starts clearing out the list of needed repairs in state buildings and other infrastructure, and pays cash for new projects. The proposals were part of Governor Little’s “Leading Idaho” plan.

“In Idaho, we run state government like a responsible family runs its household budget.  In the good years, you plan for the bad years.  You live within your means, save for a rainy day, and pay down any debt as quickly as you can.

“That’s exactly what we are doing in Idaho, and the steps we’re taking today to use our record budget surplus to pay off state building debt, start clearing out needed repairs in our infrastructure, and paying cash for big projects means we’ll save Idaho taxpayers tens of millions of dollars down the road.

“We’re doing all this in addition to providing historic tax relief and record investments in schools, roads, water, and other key areas.  We’re showing Washington D.C., and the rest of the country how to do it right, and the strength of Idaho’s economy proves it,” Governor Little said.

As part of his “Leading Idaho” plan, Governor Little recommended, and the Legislature appropriated:

  • $175.8 million in the Department of Administration’s bond payment program, averting $63 million in interest payments while lowering base budget costs at key agencies
  • $18.5 million to pay off portions of GARVEE transportation bonds, averting interest of $3.5 million and freeing up additional ongoing transportation funding.
  • $244 million as the first installment on a 10-year plan to clear out the state building deferred maintenance backlog (Governor recommended $250 million).  A recent study revealed the state had a deferred maintenance backlog in excess of $900 million.
  • $368.5 million for major capital projects (Governor recommended $372.5 million) that include, for example, $112.4 million for an 848-bed female prison, $37.6 million for medical annex complex improvements at the Department of Correction, $37 million for Chinden Campus improvements, and $29 million for a combined lab at the Idaho State Police.  Paying cash for these projects avoids debt service and ultimately saves taxpayer dollars.