“One thing I consistently hear about is our transportation system,” Gov. Brad Little told lawmakers. “In a growing state, we must move people and products as safely and efficiently as possible. The Association of Idaho Cities and Associated General Contractors are working on a study of Idaho’s transportation needs. After it’s complete, I’ll work closely with the Legislature and others to formulate a sustainable funding plan. In the meantime, I am recommending that we direct close to $100 million to maintain and improve the state’s highway system.”
No state general funds are included in that; the governor’s budget includes $99 million in dedicated and federal fund spending authority for highway construction projects that maintain and improve the state’s highway system. That's a 7.9% increase from what's being spent this year. He also wants a one-time boost of $1.8 million in dedicated funds for public airport improvements; funding for a new program manager to deal with drone systems; and establishing a state Broadband Office, as recommended by his Broadband Task Force. No additional funding was proposed for that new office; it’ll utilize existing resources at the state Department of Commerce.