On Tuesday, the Governor announced that he was calling an Extraordinary Legislative Session and limiting the discussion to a single RS of his design. This Extraordinary Legislative Session is being called under the guise of helping Idahoans deal with inflation levels which we have not seen in 40 years. If this were truly the case, why wouldn't the Governor be willing to entertain more broad-based tax reform, including grocery tax, gas tax, and skyrocketing property tax?
The Governor's draft legislation contains a small reduction in personal and corporate income taxes, which is likely positive, but it contains some very troubling elements as well. It calls for up to $500 million for a one-time tax rebate, but much of the money will go to people who paid little or no income tax in the first place. Logically speaking, you can't receive a rebate on taxes you didn't pay. At that point, it's not a rebate, it's a handout.
Another serious concern with the Governor's proposal is the ongoing allocation of $410 million annually to government schools and a newly-invented "in-demand careers fund". At a time when conservatives are learning the extent of the corruption, waste, and wokeism plaguing government schools, the Governor proposes rewarding them with a massive cash infusion with no strings or oversight attached.
In Idaho, we already spend a significant majority (62%) of our General Fund dollars on education, yet many of our students are not proficient in math and reading; some even require remedial instruction just to enter college. The legislature has an opportunity to insist on an accounting of any transfer of funds. They should appropriate funding and conduct an audit of the Department of Education. While they're at it, do the same with the Department of Health and Welfare. Nothing is more irresponsible than to send money to government agencies and school systems that can't show us a good ROI!