Idaho's success is nothing short of extraordinary.
It's also no accident. For years, Idaho has embraced conservative governing principles to create an environment where businesses and individuals can thrive.
We emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever — first in the nation or the top 10 on every indicator ranging from economic performance, personal income and employment growth, job recovery, and per-person tax relief.
Since I became Idaho's 33rd governor in 2019, we've issued back-to-back-to-back income tax cuts and implemented a new, lower flat income tax rate. That's on top of the three rounds of income tax rebates, securing two of the single-largest property tax relief measures in state history, and sweeping reform on business taxes.
In fact, Idaho leads the nation in delivering the most tax relief per capita than any other state.
Amid sky-high national inflation caused by the failed federal policies of a lackluster administration, Idaho placed a premium on putting money back in the pockets of hard-working citizens.
That's what good government does — it puts the needs of its people first.
In Idaho, we make decisions through the lens of what will be best for the people and businesses of our state well down the line.
When I took office, I was determined to follow through on my promise to reduce regulatory burdens on Idaho citizens and businesses.
Excessive regulation at all levels of government can impose high costs on businesses, inhibit job growth, and impede private-sector investments.
Just 15 days into my first term, I signed two executive orders designed to cut red tape and remove burdensome, unnecessary regulations.
In just months, Idaho stole the title of "least regulated state" from South Dakota.
And in just a few years, through our relentless efforts, we have cut a whopping 95% of regulations!
We institutionalized rule reduction and simplification by forcing agencies to justify every regulation they wanted to keep, changing the burden of proof, and combating bureaucratic inertia.
By streamlining government and reducing regulatory burden, we made government more transparent for citizens and businesses while positioning the state for a robust economic rebound post-pandemic.
Once again, Idaho led the rest of the country and received national recognition for efforts that benefit our citizens, businesses, and economic strength.
Historic tax reform and low regulation have fueled diversification in our economy. Now, Idaho is home to internationally prominent tech companies, engineering firms, manufacturing, and other businesses large and small. The economic diversity is partly why Moody's and Fitch upgraded Idaho to its first AAA credit rating in state history … at the same time the U.S. had its credit downgraded!
Our sustained focus on creating a business-friendly environment and continuing investments that promote a high quality of life and safe communities has caught the attention of many.
People are choosing to relocate or expand to Idaho because we value the hard-earned money of citizens and businesses.
Idaho has been the nation's first or second fastest-growing state for over a decade. This trend has only heightened as Idaho tops the charts in net interstate migration.
Taxes and regulation are only two parts of the equation. Since taking office, I've secured historic investments that benefit Idahoans and our businesses.
We've made record investments in schools, increasing state support for education by 65% during my time in office.
We've made record investments in transportation — clearing out a backlog of aging infrastructure projects, stimulating commerce and jobs, and taking the burden off local communities and taxpayers.
We've made record investments in our brave men and women in law enforcement. Idaho proudly backs the blue — and our history of public safety investments is proof. We've taken a stand against illegal public encampments and the flow of illicit drugs like fentanyl — including the launch of a new, specialized drug enforcement unit and awareness campaign, We're scaling up their equipment, training, and salaries because Idahoans deserve safe communities.
Our investments across the board are setting Idaho up for a vigorous and resilient future - expanding broadband connectivity to reach rural communities, improving the quality and quantity of our water supply, enhancing our world-class state parks to meet the demand of record visitation, and promoting innovative new programs for career technical workforce development.
People want what we have in Idaho. When I see what's happening in other states and at the federal level, I don't blame them.
D.C. politicians would do well to examine Idaho’s success as they careen toward the next fiscal cliff.