The big day is here.
Gov. Brad Little will kick off the first day of the 2020 legislative session with his State of the State address at 1 p.m. Monday.
It’s Idaho’s version of the State of the Union — likely the closest-watched speech and one of the biggest days of the year in Gem State political circles.
With hundreds watching in person (including all 105 legislators and schools chief Sherri Ybarra) and thousands or more following on live streams or TV, Little is expected to use the speech to unveil his 2020 political agenda.
He’ll also submit his 2020-21 budget proposal to the Legislature on Monday.
Education issues are expected to be at the top of the list.
“I can tell you this: education will remain my top priority and you are guaranteed to see me push for significant investments in our teachers and literacy efforts,” Little said during the Dec. 4 Associated Taxpayers of Idaho Conference.
The specifics of Little’s speech are a mystery.
But there will be a lot at stake when he delivers his speech from the House chambers:
- Idaho is coming off five consecutive years of $100 million or more in new spending for K-12 education.
- There are five education task force recommendations on the table, some of which could cost tens of millions of dollars to implement.
- Several legislators continue to call for replacing Idaho’s public school funding formula.
- Higher education funding, and programming, remains uncertain.
- A showdown over Common Core and academic standards appears to be brewing.
- And, all the while, money is tighter than it’s been in several years.
How to watch
The entire State of the State address will be streamed live on the Legislature’s website at 1 p.m. Monday. (Under the “House Chambers” header click on “House Session Stream” or look for a dedicated State of the State heading.)
If you want to watch the speech and enjoy some analysis from Idaho Education News senior reporter Kevin Richert, Richert will join the studio panel for Idaho Public Television’s live broadcast of the speech at 1 p.m.
Check back with Idaho Education News at about 2 p.m. Monday for coverage of and reaction to Little’s speech and budget proposal.
Legislative schedule, at a glance:
Noon: The Legislature convenes, officially opening the 2020 session.
1 p.m.: Gov. Brad Little delivers the State of the State address.
Tuesday, 8 a.m., First budget meeting for the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
Early January, to be announced: First meeting of the House and Senate Education committees.
Jan. 20-24: Education Week at the Statehouse
Jan. 20, 8 a.m., University of Idaho budget hearing.
Jan. 21, 8 a.m., Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College budget hearings.
Jan. 22, 8 a.m., Community colleges budget hearing.
Jan. 23, 8 a.m., K-12 public school budget hearing with Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra in front of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
Jan. 24, 8 a.m., Boise State University budget hearing.
Feb. 14: Budget setting begins