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Governor Little opens Idaho's Legislative Session with State of the State address

Governor Brad Little opened Idaho’s 2024 Legislative Session today by providing his State of the State address. Here are some of the notable fiscal pull quotes from his address:

  • “We are the least regulated state. We are one of the safest states in the union. We rank first for income growth. We have delivered more tax relief per capita than any other state. Idaho is one of the most fiscally responsible states, and we’re recognized for our ability to withstand any economic downturn. We’re number one for economic momentum. We’re a top ten state for best economy, rivaling Florida and Texas. In fact, Florida, Texas, and Idaho are the top three best states for small businesses. And on issues where it’s important to take a stand, Idaho has led the charge.”

  • “We must continue to lead the nation in fiscal responsibility, tax relief, and strategic investments to keep up with record growth. Idaho’s record population growth and in-migration comes with both opportunities and challenges, and I get why people are flocking here from other places. In fact, I can think of 3.7 billion reasons why people are coming here. We are on pace to deliver $3.7 billion in tax relief, and we’re not done yet. With the surplus eliminator passed last session, our budget this year includes up to $150 million in new property tax relief, on top of the hundreds of millions in property tax relief we’ve already deployed to date.”

  • “Idaho is in the top 10 for the lowest taxes in the nation. We have the third lowest property taxes in the country, and we just deployed another $300 million in relief to Idaho property owners last year. No other state in the country has given more tax relief per capita than Idaho.”

  • “I am signing on as a member of the Governors Debt Council for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The runaway freight train of federal spending has got to stop. It's not right. It's not what the founders envisioned for our great country. The U.S. Constitution gives the states the power to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment, and in the coming weeks I will announce new steps we’ll take to force Congress to live within the people's means.”

A handout provided by the Governor’s office also notes these budget priorities:

  • “Invests in accountability and achievement by providing $40 million in outcome-based funding to schools. Funding will be targeted to schools meeting priority goals in proficiency and growth in early literacy and math, and the number of high school graduates earning credentials for success in the workforce or postsecondary education.”

  • “Accelerates charter schools by eliminating red tape, increasing autonomy for high performers, and providing $605k to enroll those schools in need of performance enhancement in appropriate support services.”

  • “The Governor recommends an additional $125 million of state funding for ongoing property tax relief to be directed to local school districts to defray the costs of unmet capital construction needs. This is expected to provide more than $1 billion in long-term property tax relief.”

  • “Limits growth in General Fund spending to 2.2% over FY 2024 levels, one of the most fiscally conservative budgets in years.”

  • “Bolsters rainy-day funds by $24 million to ensure the state is prepared for future economic downturns, keeping the state at the maximum level allowed under its primary rainy-day fund.”

  • “Leaves a surplus (>$250 million) in both budgeted years to provide a greater cushion against economic uncertainty.”

  • “Maintains a structurally balanced budget over a five-year horizon using a fiscal stress test that accounts for the probability of a recession.”

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