Little declares education top priority in State of the State

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho Gov. Brad Little says his No. 1 priority for the state budget is education, and he plans to create a new cabinet of educators and parents to advise him.

The 64-year-old Republican on Monday kept to an upbeat theme in his first State of the State address to lawmakers in what is considered the official kickoff to the legislative session expected to last to at least late March.

Little said in his prepared remarks that the state is on an incredible trajectory and he plans to lead Idaho to the next level.

Little served as lieutenant governor the last 10 years under former Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who retired. About 25 percent of the 105-member Legislator is also new this year.

Big issues expected to dominate this year's legislative session include the voter-approved Medicaid expansion and grappling with education funding, infrastructure and paying for prisons.

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