Gov. Little highlights accomplishments from the previous year in the State of Idaho Address

Photo by Otto Kitsinger

With a new year comes a new address from Gov. Brad Little on the State of the State. Gov. Little spoke in front of the joint Idaho Congress on Jan. 8, 2024 at 9 a.m., highlighting accomplishments from the previous year and plans moving forward for the state of Idaho.

“We are the least regulated state. We are one of the safest states in the union. We rank first for income growth. We have delivered more tax relief per capita than any other state,” the Governor said in his address.

Governor Little went on to compare his achievements to other states such as Florida and Texas.

“We’re a top ten state for best economy, rivaling Florida and Texas,” Little said in his address.

The key topics highlighted in the address were education, economic growth and infrastructure. This all ties into the Governor’s new “Idaho Works” plan.


Governor Little has education at the front of his mind when it comes to policy, which was shown during his address to the state.

He emphasized a strong push for school choice and supporting charter schools in Idaho.

“We are a leader in education freedom. Idaho is a top ten state for charter schools,” said Little.

Governor Little intends to introduce a bill this legislative session to “cut more red tape” and provide “taxpayers the transparency they deserve.”

In 2021, Governor Little signed into law HB 377 which limits how public schools and public charter schools can discuss issues relating to “sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or other criteria in ways contrary to the unity of the nation and the well-being of the state of Idaho and its citizens”, according to the bill.

“Idaho was the first state to ban critical race theory in our schools. We’re taking a stand that we should not divide our children,” Little said in his address.

Gov. Little also highlighted the new Idaho LAUNCH grant program saying 12,500 students applied for the program.

Economic growth

“We must continue to lead the nation in fiscal responsibility, tax relief and strategic investments to keep up with record growth,” Little said in his address.

Idaho has seen a substantial increase in population growth and migration to the state of Idaho. Census data estimates Idaho’s population grew 1.3% within the last year.

Gov. Little called attention to Idaho’s budgeting and a projected $3.7 billion in tax relief to Idaho residents.

The Governor also recommended an additional $125 million of state funding to be allocated to property tax relief for local school districts.


“Since I took office, I have recommended and the Legislature has approved more than $1 billion in additional funding for water-related infrastructure projects,” Little said in a video presented at his State of the State address.

Gov. Little stated half of the aforementioned $1 billion will go to improving drinking water and wastewater treatment, while the other half will go to “modernize water infrastructure statewide”. 

The Idaho Works plan also lays out a plan to add $200 million to improve local bridges, making the new budget allocated to bridge infrastructure $600 million. 

The plan states 900 bridges are more than 50 years old which are in need of repair or need to be replaced. 

The plan also addresses a $50 million investment into the Transportation Expansion and Congestion Mitigation (TECM) bonding program to strengthen Idaho’s transportation system.

Gov. Little promises “no new taxes” when it comes to funding long-term needs.

Little closed with an ode to former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt, citing his “unrelenting human rights leadership, determined fiscal conservatism and enduring love of Idaho.” 

The full transcript for the State of the State address can be found here

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