The thing that matters most — what we should obsess about in regard to the 2016 legislative session, set to begin Jan. 11 — is whether lawmakers and the governor will use the session to expand government or to maximize liberty.
Will legislators fall into the trap of believing that they — and the government — have the solution to every problem? Or, will they adhere to the idea that conservative policies matter and that the people who elected them know best how to solve problems?
Many positive things can be accomplished come Jan. 11. With focus, the Legislature should forge ahead with a powerful conservative agenda that includes the following goals.
There’s a lot of work to do. Will it be a 65-day legislative session, as House Speaker Scott Bedke hopes to achieve? Will the session drag on into April, as it did in 2015? Will it last into May, as has happened twice? No one cares. What does matter is whether the Legislature adheres to, or gives lip service to, conservative ideas, and whether lawmakers trust the free market and the capacity of Idahoans to do great things when government gets out of the way.
Economic freedom, personal responsibility and limited government are more than just words: They are the yardstick legislators and the government will be measured against. These are the principles many Idaho voters trust their politicians adhere to every day, however long or short the 2016 legislative session may be.