In my first 100 days as governor, I plan to cut $100 million in wasteful and inefficient spending – just 3 percent of Idaho’s roughly $3.5 billion annual budget. 

I am not a politician and have spent my entire career in the real world managing budgets and finding ways to do more with less.  That is what Idaho small businesses and families do.  We should expect the same from our state government.  Idaho has critical funding priorities including educating our children for tomorrow’sjobs, fostering a more vibrant small business economy, improving infrastructure and more – we must ensure Idaho taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely.

To be clear, I’m not talking about cutting education or critical needs funding.  I’m talking about cutting wasteful spending and creating savings that can be used for meaningful tax reform, our rainy day fund or to help fund important priorities in our state.  After my years of outsider experience managing large budgets along with extensive conversations with state government workers – I know finding 3 percent in wasteful spending is more than achievable.  In fact, it won’t even be hard. 

Let me give you a couple examples:

First, the state’s own actuarial consultant reports that making specific structural changes to the state’s employee health insurance plan could save the state of Idaho $60.6 million in the first three years alone – and then $16 million each year thereafter.  Simply put, making changes suggested by the state’s own actuarial consultant would save $100 million in taxpayer dollars in just six years – all by itself. 

Another area ripe for finding cost savings – infrastructure.  In my private sector career, I’ve overseen the building of over $331 million dollars of construction and can tell you that the state often pays twice as much to build projects than the very same project would cost if built in the private sector.  Why is that?

If elected governor, I aim to find out.  I plan to put my head under the circus tent that is the Idaho state budget, examine the numbers top to bottom and root out the extensive state government waste I’ve heard about from countless state workers and Idahoans in my travels. 

I realize that the politicians will say this can’t be done.  But any Idahoan living on a budget knows finding wasteful or inefficient spending of just 3 percent can certainly be done in any household or business so why can’t it be done in government?

For years, Idaho has been run without concrete plans for the future, and the time has come for fresh ideas and a new approach.  Success in leadership requires shared vision with clarity, a plan and actual execution.  I have that vision and a plan that is a conservative blueprint for building an even better Idaho. 

This blueprint is based on hard work and dedication to conservative principles.  My first step as your governor would be to ensure the spending of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars is as efficient and effective as possible.  Because a penny saved is a penny earned in Idaho homes – and it should be in Idaho state government as well.