State of the State Fails to Address Fundamental Concerns

The Madison Liberty Institute on Governor Little’s State Address

REXBURG, Idaho – In his first State-of-the-State address, Idaho Governor, Brad Little, offered one or two conservative nuggets, but mostly delivered a big-government buffet. It was disappointing from a freedom, liberty, and Constitution perspective, but it was especially disheartening from a family, faith, and social values point of view.  

The Governor promised modest regulatory reform, future tax cuts, and spun a few platitudes about limited government and free markets. In substance, he proposed bigger government in healthcare, corrections, education, land management, and a variety of other areas. He wants to spend way too much taxpayer money and “fix” too many “problems.”  Idaho is a conservative state, but the Governor’s address and legislature’s apparent approval show we still suffer from a lack of conservative willpower in our policymakers.

“The Governor may mean well, but throughout his address he raises concerns with his tendency toward using executive orders to achieve his aims,” said Dr. Ron Nate, senior policy fellow with the Madison Liberty Institute. “While some seem good (regulatory reform), others are questionable (sweeping opioid policy). It is apparent, the Idaho Legislature will need to be vigilant to retain its lawmaking authority in the presence of an executive-order-wielding governor.”

The most unfortunate revelation from Governor Little was his complete disregard for important issues regarding Idaho families and our first freedoms. There was virtually no mention of his role as a defender of Idahoans’ Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. No mention about protecting our individual rights regarding family decisions and religious freedom. And, no mention of what Idaho can do to eliminate its 1,500 or so abortions annually.

The Madison Liberty Institute applauds Governor Little for his minor conservative flashes but encourages more steps to freeing individuals, families, and businesses from the constraints of our burdensome government.  Most importantly, the Madison Liberty Institute implores the Governor to turn more attention toward protecting Idaho families in their noble efforts to raise strong, independent children. “Our schools should be free from the insidious influences of the far-left, anti-family agenda,” said Dr. Nate. “Our churches and churchgoers should be free from the constant attacks of anti-religion, God-hating groups who aren’t tolerant of others’ beliefs.”   

There is important work to do in order to keep our first freedoms and Idaho families secure.  Hopefully, the Governor will prove a worthy steward and guardian of all Idahoans’ sacred rights and liberties. The Madison Liberty Institute will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Governor in such efforts.


The Madison Liberty Institute is an independent research and educational organization whose mission is to promote the founding principles of the American republic, free-market solutions, and “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Its vision is for a freer, more prosperous future. One where our neighbors and future leaders understand and champion the virtues and institutions that create a more harmonious society and protect our rights to life, liberty, property, conscience, and the pursuit of happiness. For more information, please visit

Monday, January 8, 2019


Click the link below to view the PDF version of our official release.

State of the State Press Release

This article was featured in the Jefferson Star