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Governor Little rolls out 'Idaho First' plan during 2023 State of the State address

Idaho State Capitol
Posted at 2:44 PM, Jan 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 15:20:44-05

BOISE, Idaho — During Monday's 2023 State of the State address, Governor Brad Little rolled out the 'Idaho First' plan, pledging to continue investing in public schools, strengthen Idaho's workforce, provide more tax relief, and promote safe communities.

'Idaho First' addresses many of the issues that impact Idahoans every day, including property taxes, salaries for state law enforcement and teachers, the fight against fentanyl, and key infrastructure investments.

The plan outlines the governor's recommended budget for the year with a focus on funding education.

Little proposed a new statewide scholarship program that would start next school year, offering Idaho graduates $8,500 in scholarship funds to pursue higher education in the Gem State.

"Never have we provided a catalyst of this magnitude for students to 'go on' in whatever way suits them," Governor Little said. "There are many pathways to success in today’s economy and all pathways deserve our support. For some students, it means getting their CDL, becoming a lineman, or pursuing welding. For others, it is engineering, teaching, healthcare, or business. No matter what path a student chooses we are making it easier for them to get the advanced training they need to propel themselves and Idaho’s economy forward."

The recommended budget would also offer a spike in starting salaries for Idaho teachers: about $6,300 a year.

"When I started this job four years ago, Idaho was 41st in the country for starting teacher pay. In four short years, we will have catapulted starting teacher pay in Idaho from the bottom 10 to the top 10," Little said in his address. "When we show teachers we support them, we’re showing families their child’s education is our priority."

The governor also proposed a 10% boost in pay for state law enforcement. "I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, while other places seek to defund the police, here in Idaho we defend the police," Little said.

The governor also highlighted the story of a 15-year-old Idaho boy, Michael Stabile, who lost his life to a Fentanyl overdose. The state recently launched an educational campaign called "All it Takes" that aims to prevent fentanyl addiction and overdoses among Idahoans.

"We aim to inform our youth about the dangers of fentanyl – its accessibility, its potency, and its ability to take everything from you and your loved ones, as it did to the Stabiles," Little said.

The Idaho First plan also features a second trip to the southern border for Idaho law enforcement. "They will hone their skills and return with even better knowledge to train police in our state on the best ways to get fentanyl off our streets," Little said.

See below for a detailed summary of the Governor’s budget highlights.

His address also included a moment of silence and prayer for the four victims from the University of Idaho slayings.

To watch the full address, click here.