Gov. Little celebrates historic legislative successesThursday March 31, 2022
Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little is celebrating historic successes as the Idaho Legislature officially adjourned sine die today, ending the 2022 legislative session for the year.
“In all my years, I have never seen a more successful legislative session that produced so many positive results for the people we serve. We achieved what I never thought we could – ‘the trifecta’ – which is record tax relief, record education investments, and record transportation investments in one year.
“With our second year of a record budget surplus – achieved through a red-hot economy and years of fiscal conservatism – we were able to provide Idahoans with historic tax relief and unprecedented investments in schools, roads, water, and other important areas to improve Idahoans’ quality of life and keep up with growth.
“Effective leadership is about giving people confidence by staying focused and getting things done, listening, showing the way through humble strength, and embracing a spirit of service. I appreciate so many of my legislative partners for demonstrating these qualities this session and for moving forward so quickly in passing my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan. Together we will continue to do great things for the people of Idaho!” Governor Little said.
Achievements from the Governor’s “Leading Idaho” plan this session include:
RECORD EDUCATION INVESTMENTS – K-12 funding will increase by $300 million, the single largest increase in state history, with a 12.5-percent increase over FY22. Funding for literacy (the Governor’s top education priority) has increased five-fold since Governor Little took office after the state added an additional $47 million ongoing investment. We’re empowering parents with new grants that help families take charge of education expenses for their children, and we’ve strengthened our ability to recruit and retain quality teachers by giving them up to 10-percent pay increases plus bonuses along with opportunities for better and more affordable health insurance. The Governor’s plan also makes key investments in career and workforce training.
HISTORIC TAX RELIEF – Since Governor Little took office, Idahoans already have benefitted from $1 billion in tax relief on income taxes, property taxes, and unemployment insurance taxes, and Idahoans will receive an additional $1.5 billion in tax relief over the next five years, shattering the record for tax relief established last year. It includes one-time, immediate income tax relief to help Idahoans facing soaring inflation as well as ongoing income tax relief. Businesses will save $64 million over the next two years and Idahoans will also benefit from more than $34 million in property tax relief.
RECORD TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENTS – Last year, Governor Little championed historic investments in transportation without raising taxes or fees, and this year the Legislature approved his plan to add $200 million for local bridges as well as $200 million ongoing to help eliminate the backlog of transportation maintenance needs – once again without raising taxes or fees – to self-sustain our transportation system over the long term without relying on the whims of Congress.
CONSERVATIVE BUDGETING – Through conservative budgeting and economic growth, Idaho achieved a AAA credit rating for the first time ever in 2021, and the Governor’s plan continues the path of fiscal conservatism by paying off state building debt, clearing out the state building deferred maintenance backlog, boosting rainy day funds to historic levels, and leaving a larger-than-usual budget surplus.
PUBLIC SAFETY – The Governor’s plan promotes safe communities by making new investments in the Idaho State Police and “Operation Esto Perpetua,” the Governor’s new initiative to fight Idaho’s growing drug threat. His plan invests in a new prison as well as proven strategies to reduce crime and decrease the revolving door back into prison. In addition, we doubled scholarships for members of the National Guard.
STRENGTHENING RURAL IDAHO – The enacted budget makes the biggest investment ever in water quality and water quantity to support a thriving agriculture and outdoor sector. The Governor’s plan makes new investments to combat wildfire and enhance outdoor recreation, and continues upgrade broadband infrastructure across the state.
HEALTHY IDAHO – The Governor’s plan addresses long-standing public health challenges, including behavioral health and healthcare capacity. His plan makes new investments to promote the health and wellbeing of our veterans and seniors.
ELECTION INTEGRITY – Added investments in cybersecurity and proactive integrity audits boost transparency and security and ensure Idahoans have the confidence their vote counts.
A complete summary of the FY23 budget highlights from the Governor’s Leading Idaho plan can be found here: https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/fy23-budget-activity-summary.pdf.