The Honorable C.L. “Butch”
It’s great to be with you once again. But before I begin, allow me to introduce my family to you – four generations of Otters are here today!
Now to the business at hand.
I know you join me in looking forward to a productive legislative session that reflects our commitment to being servants of the people.
A lot has changed for the better in the past year! I want to thank each of you for joining me in beginning this paradigm shift in the role of state government.
The people of Idaho are noticing. And it’s not me they’re noticing – it’s our state employees. It’s the folks who touch the lives of so many people every day.
They’re noticing that state government is more customer-focused.
They’re noticing that state government is adhering to the central principles of its proper role.
And they’re noticing that state government is relying on data-driven policies while being good stewards of their precious tax dollars.
So my special thanks for the past year go to all those hard-working and dedicated employees who make the rest of us look so good.
As I was preparing these remarks, I was struck by how much the principles declared by Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural speech still apply today.
It was 207 ago years when Jefferson asked:
“With all our blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?”
“Still one thing more, fellow citizens – a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
“This is the sum of good government.”
So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s get to work with that thought in mind.
It’s my great pleasure to report
to you today that Idaho’s economy is fundamentally sound.
Specifically, we can expect Idaho’s annual job growth to average more than 2 percent over the next three years. That’s nearly double the projected national growth rate.
What’s more, we still have a jobless rate about two points below the country’s rate as a whole and about half a point below where we were a year ago.
That’s all due to our employment diversity and the fact that Idaho is a great place to do business. With your help, we’ll keep building on that success.
Some of the changes we’ve seen in the past year are obvious – starting with our venue today.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not in the Capitol anymore!
Please join me in expressing our sincere thanks to Boise State University and President Bob Kustra for letting us use the Special Events Center for today’s proceedings. Bob and Kathy Kustra folks.
I also want to thank this august body for contributing so greatly to the pool of talented and experienced public servants.