The State of Idaho has positioned itself well to be able to manage the present economic downturn. This did not happen by accident. During the last session, when it became apparent that revenues were declining, the Idaho Legislature exercised appropriate caution. We balanced the budget and did not dip into our surplus funds. We recognized this was not the time to start up new programs. This coming session, the Legislature is going to have to hold the line on spending -- just as many individuals and families will have to do. But we'll be o.k.
I remember my first year in the Idaho Legislature, in 2002 when the state went through an economic downturn. We led the State through tough times then, and we can do it again. We'll have good schools. We'll do what we can with the roads. We'll keep our streets and communities safe, and the Department of Health and Welfare will continue to help those who truly need them. My vision is that during this time of economic uncertainty, we will maintain what we have while we position ourselves to forge ahead when the economy turns around. And it will. It always has.