BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Governor Brad Little addressed members of the Idaho Press Club Friday morning previewing his upcoming State of the State address and the 2022 Legislative Session.
Idaho is currently running a $1.6 billion surplus – the largest in state history. The state acquired this money with frugal spending and a prudent mindset, according to Little. The Governor plans to continue down the same path.
Idaho is one of the fastest-growing states in the country which has led to increased revenue; however, federal inflation has Little remaining cautious in regards to the State budget.
“We won't be big spenders because we're concerned about [inflation],” Gov. Little said. “We will not be willy-nilly spending money. We're anticipating that we're sure not gonna continue with this way over our projection revenue going into the future, but we're gonna have a new base because of all the new jobs and all the new wealth that has been created here”
The housing crisis, transportation infrastructure, childcare shortage, and public education funding will draw discussion among lawmakers throughout the session, according to Little. The Governor did not offer explicit answers as to how much – if any – surplus money is planned to fund these issues in his proposed budget.
The Governor deferred to Monday for further details and the following Legislative Session where many answers will play out at the will of state lawmakers. Little added he is focused on Idaho’s public education system and plans to offer funding in response to COVID complications.
“Any of the learning loss, some of it we will never make up, but we will do the best we can to make up for the learning loss over the last two years. So, we're going to make some proposals Monday that I think will make the school districts fairly pleased,” Little said.
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