Governor Brad Little reflects on 2021 legislative session

The Governor visited the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls
Published: May. 20, 2021 at 7:27 PM MDT|Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 7:28 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Whether it was Governor Brad Little’s powers during an emergency, tax cuts, or even wolves, the 2021 Legislative Session had just about everything, and the governor reflected on some of the session’s marquee moments while visiting the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

“Tax relief, transportation, education funding...all of those things came to fruition during this legislature,” said Little.

He spoke extensively about his efforts regarding tax relief, highlighted by the single largest income tax cut in Idaho’s history. Little also highlighted investments made into Idaho’s transportation infrastructure without raising taxes or fees, education, and long-term water projects. All of which were elements of Little’s multi-faceted Building Idaho’s Future plan.

The governor did not shy away from commenting on some of the session’s most hotly debated issues. On wolf population control, he stated, “The calls into our office, the vast majority were from out of state, and of course, they have no idea the topography of Idaho.”

Spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there were numerous attempts to restrict the governor’s powers during an emergency throughout the legislative session. When asked if he was surprised lawmakers tried to limit his authority, considering Idaho stayed relatively open compared to everywhere else in the country, Little said it was, “fair that I was surprised, but we had all kinds of indications.” He acknowledged he was glad he was able to find a compromise with lawmakers on the issue, whilst reiterating his belief that a governor should be able to quickly respond to a future emergency. It’s a notion which all four living governors supported publicly in April.

“You know what I worry about? You cannot anticipate what the next big emergency is,” said Little.

When asked about Move Oregon’s Border for a Greater Idaho, the governor reminded onlookers that the movement still has a long way to go, including passing Oregon and Idaho’s State Legislatures, and Congressional approval.

“I’m not thinking about if I happen to run again, whether I’m going to be campaigning in Harney County,” he said.

There’s no rest for Little, who is already looking ahead to an issue that has been on the forefront of many Idahoan’s minds, especially in the Magic Valley.

“We just don’t have affordable housing,” said Little. “Our kids that are going to graduate from this institution [CSI] and want to have a job can’t afford a house.”

Despite the at times heated debate throughout the Legislative Session, he praised the process.

“The tension within the House and Senate; the tension between the House and Senate; the tension between the House, Senate, Executive Branch, and even Judicial Branch is a part of the beauty of our Constitution,” said Little.

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