Dear Legislators,

As leaders of Idaho’s business community, we oppose the Idaho House’s decision to reject Governor Little’s budget for our colleges and universities. Our concern is heightened by the fact that your vote came after the Idaho Senate approved the budget overwhelmingly.

A strong higher education system is critical to building the workforce that Idaho’s businesses need to grow and thrive. When you weaken our
colleges and universities you are also putting Idaho’s economic future at risk.

The Idaho Legislature itself set the goal of having 60 percent of our 25-34-year-olds holding a postsecondary credential by 2025. Ironically, your vote makes it even more difficult for our state to achieve that goal and create the workforce we need.

It is also of grave concern that you are rejecting support for higher education at a time when our college and university presidents are collaborating more than at any time in recent memory. They have pledged to freeze tuition if the Legislature supports Governor Little’s budget, a step that will take a financial burden off your constituent families and make postsecondary education more affordable for
Idaho’s young people.

It is also directly detrimental to our State to have leaders entrusted with the state’s future reject a budget for colleges and universities which together contributed more than $3 billion to the Idaho economy even six years ago and probably more now.

It is also damaging to our State’s economy for you to reject a budget for the very colleges and universities that conduct important research and support that is critical to the success of basic Idaho industries like farming, ranching, dairy, forestry, health care and technology.

These institutions also educate our future business and political leaders – yes, even legislators – who someday will be entrusted with Idaho’s future.

As businesses that employ thousands of your constituents and rely on a strong higher education system, we urge you to stop turning our critical higher education infrastructure into a political football in the culture wars. Funding per student has already dropped 14 percent over the past 10 years. Chipping away at this critical economic engine of our state for political reasons is counterproductive for building an economically vibrant Idaho.

Instead, we ask you to strengthen your support for our colleges and universities so they can be the economic engines that our state needs for a bright and prosperous future for all Idahoans.

1. 116 & West
2. Alturas Capital
3. Amy Kawahara-Rhoads, IBE Board Member
4. Andy Scoggin, IBE Board Chair
5. Atticus Holdings
6. Bateman-Hall
7. Bayer
8. Betsy Hunsicker, IBE Board Member
9. Bill Gilbert, IBE Board Member
10. Bob Lokken, IBE Board Member and former IBE Chair
11. Boise Cascade Company
12. BPA Health
13. Brad Ryan, IBE Treasurer
14. Brent Carr, IBE Board Member
15. C. Fred Cornforth, IBE Member
16. C.L. “Butch” Otter, IBE Of Counsel and former Idaho Governor
17. Cally Roach, IBE Board Member
18. Carr Land and Title Co.
19. Caxton Printers, Ltd.
20. Chigbrow Ryan Murata
21. Chobani
22. Citizens Community Bank
23. Coleman Engineering Inc.
24. Colliers
25. Con Paulos Chevrolet
26. Craig Olson, IBE Board Member
27. Crookham Company
28. David Hawk, IBE Member
29. Dean Haagenson, IBE Member
30. DeBest Plumbling
31. Dee Jay Mailer, IBE Board Member
32. Diamond Training and Development
33. Doug Oppenheimer, IBE Board Member
34. Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center
35. Ed Dahlberg, IBE Member
36. Ednetics
37. Evoca
38. Franklin Building Supply
39. Gardner Company
40. George Iliff, IBE Member
41. Guy Hurlbutt, IBE Member
42. Hawley Troxell
43. Hecla Mining Company
44. Hirning Buick GMC
45. Idaho Candy Company
46. Idaho Central Credit Union
47. Idaho Forest Group
48. Intermax
49. Intermountain Gas
50. Jacklin Land Company
51. Jamie Cooper, IBE Member
52. Jason Meyerhoeffer, IBE South Central Chair
53. Jean De Luca, IBE Board Member
54. Jim Hawkins, IBE Member
55. Judy Meyer, IBE Panhandle Chair
56. Kevin Deats, IBE Member
57. Kurt Liebich, IBE Vice Chair
58. LaRocco & Associates, Inc.
59. Lawrence Neznanski, IBE Member
60. Little Enterprises
61. Lorrie Asker, IBE Member
62. Mariposa Labs
63. Mark Young, Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
64. Material Handling Solutions
65. Michael Mooney, IBE Board Member
66. Micron
67. Mike Gwartney, IBE Member
68. Minidoka Memorial Hospital
69. Mountain West Bank
70. Nez Perce Tribe
71. Northwest Bank
72. Northwest Council for Computer Education
73. Odette Bolano, IBE Board Member
74. Oppenheimer Companies
75. PacificSource Health Plans
76. Parkwood Business Properties
77. Pat McMurray, IBE Member
78. Portman Square Group
79. Portneuf Medical Center
80. PotlatchDeltic
81. Rafanelli & Nahas
82. RedBuilt
83. Rich Raimondi, IBE Member
84. Rocky Mountain Companies
85. Rod Gramer, IBE President and CEO
86. Route Networking Group
87. Saint Alphonsus Health System
88. Sandy Patano, IBE Member
89. Scoggin Capital Investment
90. Silver Creek Outfitters
91. Skip Oppenheimer, IBE Founding Chair
92. STCU
93. Stoel Rives
94. Stukent
95. SymTec
96. The CAPROCK Group
97. The Energy Strategies Institute
98. The Murray Group
99. Tim Garrigan, IBE Member
100. TOK Commercial
101. Watkins Distributing
102. West Valley Medical Center
103. Young Construction Group of Idaho