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Little says Idahoans must choose to keep others safe, protect Idaho's strong economic trend

BOISE - November was the best month yet for state revenue figures in the new fiscal year, and Governor Brad Little said Idahoans must choose to do a better job to slow the spread of COVID-19 if the state is going to continue the strong economic rebound during the pandemic.

"Idaho's economy is open and strengthening, and we are poised to achieve the largest budget surplus in Idaho history. However, our plan to achieve tax cuts and long-lasting needed investments is threatened if our hospitals are maxed out and our workforce is sick. Health and the economy are intertwined. Idahoans must choose to do a better job of wearing masks and avoiding gatherings with people outside their households if we are going to continue this trend," Little said.

The Idaho Division of Financial Management posted the November revenue report Monday. It is available at https://dfm.idaho.gov/publications/eab/gfrr/gfrr2021/gfrr_dec2020.pdf.

While other states face budget cuts of 20- to 40-percent or more, Idaho's November revenue figures came in 16.5-percent or $44.5 million ahead of forecast, the strongest month since July. Year to date, state revenues are ahead of forecast by 10.6-percent, or $168.3 million.

Little said he will put forth a package in January for legislative approval that provides tax cuts and makes one-time investments in transportation, education, water projects, and more.

"COVID-19 is deadlier and more dangerous than the flu, period. More COVID-19 transmission results in more COVID-19 hospitalizations and fewer available healthcare workers to care for the patients. The result is diminished healthcare access for all of us, whether we have COVID or not. We all have a choice - practice safe measures consistently to protect yourself and others, keep our economy open and our workforce healthy, and keep our kids in school," Little said.

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