Fiscal responsibility, limited government, personal responsibility, and state sovereignty will be the standards for new legislation.
Idaho will continue to set an example by living within its means. Legislators will carry on a Republican tradition of fiscal responsibility, attempting to avoid new tax increases through greater government efficiency.
Budget cuts will be met by an increasingly lean, efficient, and intelligent governmental structure. This structure will be stable, predictable, and transparent; unlike national programs, like the proposed national health care plan, taxpayers and businesses will not be kept wondering how or when new taxesmight affect them.
As much as possible, Idaho will set the stage for economic recovery by keeping money where it belongs—in the hands of the people who earned it.
Promising to achieve more with less, the proposed new state education plan will shift the focus from how much we are spending to how much our children are learning. By reorganizing the way that existing funds are spent, money will be strategically targeted to areas where it can be most productively used.
Bold moves, like replacing tenure with a pay-for-performance plan, investing in technology to modernize our classrooms, increasing opportunities for online learning and college dual-enrollment programs, and paying for high school juniors’ college entrance exams will enhance our children’s learning without plunging our state into debt.
Both teachers and students will be encouraged to achieve and will be rewarded for their successes.
Creative responses will also be used to address Health and Welfare budget challenges. Legislators will look to curb entitlement fraud and discover new efficiencies to ensure that the most effective services reach Idaho’s neediest populations.
While Idaho is careful to establish true need before admitting citizens to its welfare programs, those who are found to need help receive benefits on a level matched by few other states in the nation.
Idaho, like many states, will also seek greater flexibility from the federal government in Health and Welfare spending. The state will look to reassert its independence to creatively address the state’s health needs without upending the state’s budget or being hampered by federal budget stipulations.
2011 is a year of difficult financial decisions, but it is also an opportunity to respond. Idaho citizens are strong and courageous people, and we will make it through this difficult recession.
Legislators will lay the groundwork for a future in which the citizens of Idaho continue to be served by a fiscally-responsible, sovereign local government that efficiently caters to the needs of its citizens and gives them the freedom and opportunities they need to succeed. We will emerge a stronger and more resilient people on the other side of these needed reforms.
Rep. Ken Roberts
Rep. Paul Shepherd
District 8 – House Seat B
Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll