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Governor-elect Brad Little gives legislative preview ahead of session

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 20:20:21-05

BOISE — From education to marijuana, and everything in between.
It's no small task addressing all of the issues and improvements needed to move forward tenaciously here in the state of Idaho, but ready or not, Governor-elect Brad Little will be tackling all of those things, head on.

In regards to differentiating himself from current Governor Butch Otter, Little said, "There'll be a lot of differences, but I'd rather talk about the future than dwell about that past."

It's a big task to tackle, taking the reins of the state, and going into the legislative session, an endless list of duties awaits.

"We wanted to address the gap population. An now we've got a new law, that is law today, that we have to implement," said Little, in regards to Medicaid expansion, which is an initiative more than 60% of Idahoans voted in favor of. Now, it’s a law awaiting implementation.

Governor-elect Little stated it will be implemented in an Idaho way, providing pathways for people to utilize Medicaid, but also have a way to get out.

Another big discussion is marijuana legalization, following a federal law legalizing hemp cultivation as well as, now all six of Idaho's bordering states legalizing marijuana in some form.

"Is hemp camouflage for marijuana trade?" Little asked. He says he would have to be convinced legalization doesn't create opportunities for recreational marijuana to be shipped through the state.

And as for education, Little said, "I am committed to the task force recommendations on education."

But with a commitment to repeal the grocery tax, Idahoans want to know how the two will work together.

"I won't do it if it interferes with my commitment there," said Little.

Meaning if education is impacted for the worse, the grocery tax will be adjusted or scrapped.

Education is one of the biggest issues the legislature focuses on. Governor-elect Little said it is his top priority.

Coming up on Sunday we take a deeper look into education funding, how the grocery tax could affect the budget and what the legislature's plans for that funding are at a time when Idaho revenues are surprisingly low.