Little: Idaho kicking butt

Dec 10, 2021

COEUR d’ALENE — When Brad Little became Idaho’s governor in 2019, he had a primary goal: Keep Idaho’s kids in Idaho.

So he told the Legislature and his staff, “Everything we do is to create the best possible environment for kids to choose to stay here,” he said Tuesday in Coeur d’Alene.

Then, he added with a smile, “And we’re getting really good at it. Now everybody else’s kids want to stay here.”

The crowd of about 175 laughed at that comment as they listened to the governor’s “Address to the Business Community,” presented by the Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber.

Speaking at the Hagadone Event Center on a gray day, Little said kids are staying and those who left are returning — if they find a house due to the area’s strong growth.

The reason they’re coming back, Little said, is that the state is shining in several areas.

Little said Idaho is the least regulated state, No. 1 in state revenue growth, third in total economic growth, was recently ranked first for credit worthiness and just received its first triple-A bond rating.

“For the bankers in the room it’s the typical deal. When you need to borrow money, everybody is reluctant,” Little said. “But when you don’t need to borrow money, they all love you.”

Idaho is prepared for a downturn should it happen, Little said.

“We’re one of the fastest states to recover from COVID, particularly (compared) to our next door neighbors here, across the line,” he said, in a shot at Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Little thanked Idaho businesses for their actions during the pandemic.

“It was grit and fortitude, the innovation, the hard work, that you did,” he said.

Little said Idaho’s growth is “a testament to the free enterprise system that allows smart businesses, large and small, to do the right thing and put us in the position we’re in right now.”

Read the full story from CDA Press here.