Brad Little in 2019 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Budget & Economy: Look for too much spending on autopilot

As we review our state budget-we must ask key questions: Is there too much spending on autopilot? Are we putting off maintenance that will cost our children more tomorrow? Do we have adequate rainy-day funds? How do we structure the surplus eliminator?

These measures and my proposed budget ensure we avoid the short-term fiscal mistakes that other states and the federal government continue to make.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Crime: Expand community re-entry centers for former offenders

We must hold those who violate our laws accountable, but we also must invest in changing their behavior, so our communities will be safer once offenders pay their debt to society.

My budget recommendation takes on this challenge in a way that provides not only an increase in our prison capacity but also the resources needed to reduce the flow of inmates to our prisons. This will be done by expanding the St. Anthony Work Camp in eastern Idaho and opening a community reentry center in northern Idaho.

In addition to providing timely relief to Idaho's overcrowded prisons, these combined 220 beds focus specifically on helping those in custody acquire critical skills to successfully transition back into society after release.

Former offenders cannot be successful after reentry and on parole if we don't have the necessary bed space and programs--such as drug courts--to halt the revolving door.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Drugs: Five-year plan to face the scourge of opioid addiction

Former offenders cannot be successful after reentry and on parole if we don't have the necessary bed space and programs--such as drug courts--to halt the revolving door. Help for substance abuse is often only available once a person becomes an offender. There is a clear nexus between mental health and substance abuse.

Communities across Idaho face the scourge of opioid addiction and other substance abuse problems. Two years ago, the Idaho Office of Drug Policy and the Department of Health and Welfare convened a stakeholder group that put together a strategic five-year action plan on tackling the issue of opioid addiction in Idaho.

We know the challenge is larger than just opioid addiction. Many problems that begin with opioids evolve into heroin and fentanyl. Looking ahead, I will issue an executive order on substance abuse--formalizing this existing opioid plan, broadening these efforts, directing future resources, and creating non-offender programs for substance abuse.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Education: Invest in public school teacher salary increases

Education policy requires long-term planning and commitment. These past four years, Idaho has a successful record of responsible investment in education. We have increased the budget for our schools by 32%. This past year, Idaho teachers received one of the nation's largest year-to-year pay increases.

As Governor, I will continue our momentum and be an unrelenting advocate for educational excellence in our state. To amplify the voices of those on the front lines of education, I will create a Children's Cabinet to advise me throughout my term on a variety of education issues. My Children's Cabinet will consist of traditional education stakeholders, parents, and groups across our state dedicated to advocating for children.

Our Task Force on Public Education and its five-year plan has been the envy of other states. It has been the force behind an unprecedented, sustained effort to improve Idaho education.

My budget recommends the next phase of increased teacher salaries.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Environment: Replenish more water into aquifers than we remove

Water is Idaho's lifeblood, and we've made great strides in protecting it. Under the leadership of the Water Resource Board, we have doubled our goal of refilling and replenishing our critically important Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, adding more water this year than was removed. While this is an impressive accomplishment, this must be an ongoing effort. Regardless of the water year, we must focus on expanding the water infrastructure across our state.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Government Reform: Revoke two regulations for every new regulation implemented

Late last year, I finalized a report that outlined the scope of occupational licensing in Idaho and provided key recommendations. My first executive order as Governor will put in place two of those recommendations: sunrise and sunset processes for future occupational licensing laws.

To reduce overall regulatory burdens on our citizens and businesses, I will issue another executive order requiring state agencies to revoke two regulations for every new regulation they want to implement. This commitment to cutting red tape will ensure we are governing with the lightest possible hand.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Health Care: Honor the will of the people & implement Medicaid expansion

On election day over 60% of voters approved Medicaid expansion. For months I made it clear I would honor the will of the people. I intend to work with you to implement Medicaid expansion using an Idaho approach. We need spring in our safety net so that there are multiple pathways for the gap population to move off Medicaid and onto private coverage.

While making health care available to low-income individuals we should also do what we can to make affordable, accessible, quality health care available to all Idahoans.

An unintended outcome of the Affordable Care Act is that too many people are priced out of health insurance coverage. In the past two years, the number of uninsured Idahoans increased by 125,000--almost double the gap population. As Idaho continues to enjoy the fastest-growing economy in the nation, the number of insured Idahoans should be increasing not decreasing.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Tax Reform: Inform taxpayers to increase state income tax withholdings

Last year, we delivered one of the largest tax cuts in state history. As a result, state income and business tax rates are the lowest since 1934. Idahoans are enjoying bigger paychecks.

Even though sales tax and corporate tax revenues have been robust, our personal income tax receipts are falling short. The federal tax code changed recently, but few Idahoans know they need to update their tax withholdings. I am ordering the Tax Commission to do all they can to better inform taxpayers of what they need to do to avoid a surprise income tax bill.

My team is following this issue closely, confident revenues will eventually match the rapid pace of economic growth. Though we are confident, in true Idaho fashion, we will not spend money until it's in the bank.

My budget recommendation will balance our books and fulfill important promises. Additionally, any new tax exemption should be tied to a proportional reduction in state spending or real income generation.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Technology: Adequate broadband infrastructure for both rural & urban

Idaho is seeing unprecedented economic growth in many parts of the state. However, that growth has not been matched in all our communities. In my travels, I constantly hear how the absence of adequate broadband infrastructure is a deterrent to growth and economic development. The Idaho Department of Commerce spent the past year analyzing the statewide challenge of inadequate broadband.

To ensure Idaho can adapt to the rapidly evolving digital world, we must actively work to improve Idaho's broadband access, pursuing all options to increase broadband connectivity. I will work with the Legislature to ensure both rural and urban Idaho are connected and well-positioned to attract and create maximum success.

Looking long-term, we must address transportation deficiencies: specifically, the safety of our roads and bridges and the necessary improvements to preserve our citizens' most precious commodity: their time.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Technology: Cybersecurity Task Force: modernize government data

State government has a duty to protect the data citizens entrust to us. I chaired the Cybersecurity Task Force three years ago and we have made progress on this important issue. Following these efforts, my budget recommendation lays out a plan for IT and cybersecurity modernization. This effort will significantly reduce our cyber vulnerability and provide long-term savings with the ultimate goals of protecting citizens' data and building public confidence.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

On Welfare & Poverty: First-Time Home Buyer Account: tax break for young families

We must make sure state government is reducing all unnecessary barriers to prosperity. One barrier is the daunting financial reality facing first-time homebuyers, particularly young people just starting their careers and families. One specific proposal I will champion to help more Idahoans achieve the American Dream is the First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account. This account will encourage young families to set aside part of their pre-tax income to make a down payment on their first home.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Idaho legislature Jan 7, 2019

The above quotations are from 2019 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Apr 02, 2019
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