From the Desk of the Governor 1/29/2023

This week, I sat down with some students, teachers, and school staff in Coeur d’Alene to discuss how we can continue putting the education of young Idahoans FIRST. 
As Governor, I have prioritized making investments in Idaho’s education system. Since I took office four years ago, we have increased school funding by 57%!
Heading into my second term – I want to double down on our commitment to our public K-12 schools and post-secondary education programs.
My IDAHO FIRST plan aims to continue our record of HISTORIC investments into education by:Increasing teacher pay and benefits – boosting the salary of those just starting their teaching career and our long-time educatorsImproving school safety Replacing aging and paying for new technological resourcesHelping families purchase additional educational resources by making our Empowering Parents grants a permanent program
With these students’ and educators’ input, I will continue looking for new ways to support Idaho learners and our entire education system.
We must continue to prepare our younger generation with the education, skills, and lifelong passion for learning – and that’s why we are putting IDAHO FIRST and EDUCATION FIRST.
My Full Idaho First Budget
We’ve made huge progress in connecting employers with resources to train employees. My IDAHO FIRST plan wants to continue this momentum – by helping young Idahoans receive the advanced training needed to succeed in today’s economy through the IDAHO LAUNCH program.
If approved by the legislature, the Idaho Launch program will provide graduating high school seniors with a minimum $8,500 scholarship to attend any in-state post-secondary education program.
Including any:Idaho universityIdaho community collegeIdaho career technical schoolIdaho workforce training program
This week, I visited Middleton High School to discuss my IDAHO FIRST plan and the Idaho Launch proposal.
These bright 11th-grade students told me that the additional funding could significantly influence their decision to pursue post-secondary education. Some said they would use the scholarship to attend an aviation academy, culinary school, or receive their associate degree.
We want Idaho students brought up in Idaho schools working in Idaho jobs. The Idaho Launch program is one way to make that happen.
Started my week by meeting with teachers from the West Ada School District to talk about supporting our local educators!I also stopped for a photo with Lieutenant Governor Scott Bedke and Idaho FFA students during their Gem State Leadership Conference in Boise!Then I had the pleasure of discussing my 2023 legislative priorities with members of the Associated Students University of Idaho!On Tuesday I signed a proclamation declaring January 22-28, 2023, “School Choice Week” in Idaho!
While visiting Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday I stopped to take a photo with more than 100 students from schools across North Idaho!
While up North, I had the pleasure of addressing the Coeur d’Alene business community and discussing my priorities for the legislative session.
One thing I hear consistently across the state from our employers is the challenges they face in getting the skilled workers they need to do the work.
That’s why I made strengthening our public schools and workforce training two of the top priorities in my IDAHO FIRST plan this year.
My budget includes a proposal for the LARGEST EVER investment in career technical and workforce training in STATE HISTORY – the Idaho Launch program.
My budget also proposes we dedicate $110 million to improve the facilities at our post-secondary institutions like Lewis Clark State College and North Idaho College.
This is in direct response to what I hear continually from our businesses. They need skilled workers to meet their needs and continue propelling our economy forward.
We at the state level stand ready to support young Idahoans, provide them with opportunities for rewarding careers, and meet local businesses’ workforce needs.
Idaho governor wins lawsuit against illegal encampment outside Capitol: ‘We are not Portland’Idaho Gov. Brad Little reacted after winning a lawsuit against a public encampment outside the Capitol Annex he said had turned into a danger zone. A judge’s decision earlier in January granted the governor’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by activists challenging his administration’s actions to remove the encampment.Read More

I am proud to continue the legacy one of my favorite traditions as Governor – holding “Capital for a Day” events monthly throughout Idaho.
Thank you to the Weiser and Washington County community for welcoming us this week!
This important event gives my Cabinet members and me a chance to listen to the people of Idaho, allowing citizens to ask questions and offer their suggestions directly to state government leaders.
The most important thing is allowing people the freedom, and the luxury, to ask their questions. 
I look forward to announcing more “Capital for a Day” events soon and meeting more Idahoans in every corner of the state!
Capital for a Day
Thanks to the Idaho Community Bankers Association for inviting me to speak at their leadership conference this week! Idaho’s community banks play an important role in Idaho’s economy, particularly in the support they provide small businesses and local farms – the backbone of our economy.
This week, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with participants in the Idaho Water Users Association’s Headgate program – a leadership program for future water leaders. In Idaho, water is critical to our success and this bright group will help guide us into the future!
It was a privilege to meet with commanders from the USS Idaho while they were visiting our State Capitol. Idaho is a very patriotic state with a rich Navy history. I join the thousands of military veterans who call Idaho home in celebrating the construction of the USS Idaho. It is an honor to have a ship bearing our state’s name serving our great nation alongside our brave men and woman in the United States Navy!
Thank you to the Association of Idaho Cities for inviting me to speak at this week’s “AIC Officials Day at the Capitol!” Our local governments play an instrumental role in our state’s success, and I appreciate their support in helping me keep Idaho headed in the right direction!

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