April 18, 2023
Gov. Little marks “100 Days of Achievement”
Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little wrapped up the first 100 days of his second term as Idaho’s 33rd Governor last week, noting historic achievements in education, infrastructure investments, and tax relief.
“Idaho’s success is no accident. When we improve schools, roads, water systems, internet access, outdoor opportunities, and public safety while delivering historic tax relief, we will see economic success. In Idaho, we create a tax and regulatory environment where business and the American dream can thrive. We live within our means, invest where it matters, give money back to the people, and save for a rainy day,” Governor Little said. “The first 100 days of my second term were a huge success. We secured 99-percent of my ‘Idaho First’ plan, and now we’re focused on implementing the improvements to schools, workforce training, safe communities, and infrastructure to ensure a strong Idaho for this generation and the next.”
Achievements from the first 100 days of Governor Little’s second term include:
Launch – The Governor recommended and the Legislature approved the expansion of the successful Idaho Launch program, providing $8,000 grants for qualifying high school graduates to use at any community college, career technical program, or workforce training provider of their choice starting in 2024.
Teacher pay and education investments – The Governor recommended and the Legislature approved raising starting teacher pay to $47,477, targeting Idaho for a top 10 spot nationally, up from bottom 10 when Governor Little took office. The plan also strengthened pay for all teachers, including our most experienced educators, as well as school staff. The Governor and Legislature fulfilled a historic commitment to public schools – a 16.4% increase in state funding. Other education achievements include improving teacher health insurance benefits, improvements to school facility security, and more discretionary funding to defray reliance on local property taxes.
School choice – The Governor recommended and the Legislature approved making permanent the popular Empowering Parents grant program to help families take charge of education expenses for their children outside the classroom. The Governor and Legislature strengthened Idaho’s already abundant landscape of school choice options by expanding parents’ ability to choose the best public school for their child, regardless of their zip code. Governor Little maintains his commitment to a responsible, transparent, and accountable approach to expanding school choice in Idaho.
Simple property tax relief – The Governor recommended an additional $120 million of state funding in FY 2024 for ongoing tax relief to be directed to local government property tax mitigation, and the Legislature passed $117 million in ongoing property tax relief and $20 million in one-time relief for FY 2024. In the past three years, Idaho has turned back more taxpayer money through tax relief than any other state per capita.
Transportation, water, and infrastructure – In recent years, Governor Little and the Legislature have championed investments in critical infrastructure without raising taxes or fees. The Governor and Legislature this session fully funded the known ongoing transportation safety gap, making Idaho roads safer. They funded the second tranche of an effort to improve local bridges. They leveraged federal funds to increase broadband capacity in Idaho and made investments to expand water projects to ensure a stable water supply and safe local drinking water and wastewater systems for this generation and the next. Outdoor recreation opportunities will be improved with added investments in state parks.
Public safety – The Governor and Legislature renewed their commitment to safe communities by increasing pay for law enforcement officers, beefing up resources to fight fentanyl, and improving behavioral health resources for Idahoans in need. In addition, Governor Little was victorious in winning a lawsuit stemming from an encampment on the Capitol Annex, protecting the state’s ability to prevent illegal encampments that harm public property and pose significant health and safety risks.
A full summary of achievements from the Governor’s “Idaho First” plan this session is available at: https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/fy24-budget-activity-summary.pdf
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