BOISE, Idaho — It has been four months since the 2023 Idaho legislative session adjourned on April 6, and it's another five months until the next one. There's usually a bit of a lull over the intervening months, but the work of the state government is still churning along.
This edition of Viewpoint focuses on what Governor Brad Little is focusing on this summer.
On July 19, the governor announced Idaho ended the 2022 fiscal year with another budget surplus. It's nowhere near last year's historic $1.6 billion dollar surplus, but a more modest $100 million. All of that $100 million will go to property tax relief, one of the major issues in the last session.
Also, In late May, Governor Little went to the Texas-Mexico border to see how Texas is fighting the flow of the dangerous drug fentanyl into the country. He also sent Idaho State troopers there to help Texas's efforts and to learn drug interdiction and detection techniques to bring back here to train other officers. His new fentanyl roundtable met for the first time in July. It's focusing on the lessons learned from the ISP mission in order to enhance Idaho's response to fentanyl being smuggled into the Gem State. It's all part of “Operation Esto Perpetua" that he rolled to out fight the influx of fentanyl.
"Our state police, your state police, my state police, we've got a really good team, and the legislature funded a new enhanced drug interdiction team," Governor Little said. "One of the things they're doing is working with sheriffs, police all over the state. When we had our Esto Perpetua meeting we went around the state and heard from sheriffs, law enforcement, city police and then that's how we all work as a team in Idaho to keep our people safe."
"Esto Perpetua" is the state motto. It's Latin for "Let it be perpetual."
Governor Little also discusses the hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of investments in public education and projects to improve Idaho's state parks.
Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock on KTVB Idaho's NewsChannel 7.
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