I understand that Gov. Brad Little is considering calling legislators back to town to cut taxes. That's an excellent idea. There is no reason in the world that our hard earned money should sit unused in the state treasury.
Moreover, with a $2 billion budget surplus -- that’s more than 40% of the general fund -- the decision to cut taxes without delay ought to be simple. It's a low risk proposition that happens to be great for Idahoans.
A special session isn’t a done deal yet. Remember in 2020, the governor resisted calling a special session even though the public was demanding action to protect them from government Covid mandates.
If it does come to pass, Little alone would set a special session agenda, and he has been clear on his desire to cut taxes. That means he could use the session to continue delivering on income tax relief and follow through on his campaign promise to repeal Idaho’s sales tax on groceries. The latter has the double benefit of giving Idahoans relief from inflation at the grocery store.
And if tax rebates are in order, Little should use funds to provide relief to Idahoans crushed under the weight of exploding property taxes.
And while lawmakers are in their seats in Boise, this would be an excellent time to make sure our schools aren't used by the Biden administration to implement pro-transgender policies.
We pointed out this problem in June and suggested a special session then. Little and other governors wrote a letter protesting the administration's actions last month. But a letter is hardly the protection our kids deserve.
If you recall, Biden issued an executive order that asserts, “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”
His executive order threatens to create Lia Thomas copycat situations in school locker rooms in Idaho and across the country.
As lawmakers last session appropriated the federal funds that would obligate our schools to set up trans bathrooms and make other woke accommodations, this is a problem that they alone are needed to fix.
There's an immediate need to protect schoolchildren by undoing the availability of the money lawmakers appropriated, replacing the same with state dollars, or directing schools to not expend funds on wokeism. If Idaho does nothing, the mere act of participating in federal school lunch programs is enough for the federal government to make demands about locker rooms and bathrooms.
A special session can take on both issues.
It can be a session that repatriates unused tax dollars to the people where they belong. And it can also help put the brakes on Washington, D.C.'s woke foolishness.
But if the governor uses the session to go on a spending spree -- dumping more money into education or other government programs -- it will be a disaster. Limited to tax cuts and protecting students from Biden's social justice agenda, a special session would do Idahoans a whole lot of good.
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