House Bill 24, the Idaho Launch Grant, was the top priority of Governor Brad Little’s State of the State Address last January. This program will give $8,500 to college graduates to use at certain trade schools or workforce development programs that support “in-demand careers.”
Who decides which careers are “in demand”? The Workforce Development Council, of course, which is made up of legislators and business leaders appointed by the governor. And those business friends of the governor want Idaho to pay for training their workers. This feels a lot like the government returning to the lockdown approach of deciding who is and who is not essential.
Proponents of the bill claimed that Idaho’s state government has a responsibility to help people.
Sen. Chuck Winder (R-20), the President Pro Tempore, dismissed accusations that the bill was socialist. “Yes, the government’s paying the money, where’d the money come from? The taxpayers. Who are the taxpayers? It’s the small businesses… and they’re the ones who will benefit from it.”
Did you ever think you would see the day that Idaho Republicans would stand with Idaho Democrats to institute a government program for free college?
When President Joe Biden did it, Gov. Little and Idaho Republicans called it “socialism.”
How is the Launch Grant any different? That’s the trick: It’s not.