BOISE — Monday kicked off the 2019 legislative session, starting with Gov. Brad Little’s first annual State of the State address. Here’s some of what happened at the statehouse this week:
- Gov. Brad Little delivered his first State of the State address Monday afternoon, in which he emphasized that education — including increasing starting pay for teachers — will be his first priority this legislative session. Little also noted that he would like to see Idaho repeal its sales tax on groceries next year.
- Little released his recommended budget for the year. He has proposed a state general fund budget of $3.897 billion for next year, a 6.7 percent increase over this year. The budget would leave ending balances that are larger than usual — $172.6 million at the end of 2020 — as income tax revenues have not been meeting expectations.
- Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, introduced the first bill of the session, aimed at resolving water permit issues in the Treasure Valley.
- The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee accepted a report from the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee, which reduced revenue projections by roughly $100 million for fiscal year 2020 compared to the governor’s revenue projections. The committees have projected $3.96 billion in revenue.