Janice McGeachin

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin mingles with fellow Republicans during the 2020 Blaine County Lincoln Day Brunch.

“Things are going very well in our state,” Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin told dozens of Republicans gathered Saturday afternoon for the 2020 Lincoln Day event in Hailey.

The brunch and live auction raised funds to benefit the Blaine County Republican Central Committee in its support of Republican candidates and causes.

McGeachin spoke on efforts by her office and the Governor’s Office to increase efficiency and decrease regulations.

In December, Gov. Brad Little announced the simplification or cut of 75 percent of the state’s regulatory rules, making it the least regulated state in the country with 41,000 restrictions, in comparison to formerly least regulated state South Dakota with 44,000 restrictions, according to an article by the Idaho Statesman.

“Freeing up the ability to be you or I,” McGeachin said.

In addition, McGeachin touched on the work that the Regional Government Efficiency Working Group, which she chairs, is doing to improve customer service and reduce spending at state agency regional offices across the Gem State.

Since its creation in April 2019, McGeachin said, the group has reduced the spending on cars and trucks being used by agencies by $600,000 and has also helped to reduce the amount of rent some agencies were spending in leasing offices on top floors of buildings in Boise.

According to the working group’s website, there are currently three recommendations to the Governor’s Office for improvements.

The first recommends renting cars that are used infrequently rather than buying them.

The second is a resolution commending the Idaho Department of Labor for improving access to services for rural Idahoans while reducing its physical footprint and not eliminating any jobs, encouraging other departments to do the same. The new model will retain 11 physical offices from the previous 25 and instead offer services elsewhere with appointments at other facilities such as libraries or other government or nonprofit offices across the state.

Lastly, the group recommended that state offices work to relocate from third-party owners in Ada County to the Chinden Campus, which was bought by the state to allow consolidation of state entities in a single location.

McGeachin emphasized that these efficiencies “do not endanger public services or public health,” but are meant to help prevent cuts to public services in the future.

Republican Legislative District 26 Chairwoman Cindy Jesinger said Tuesday that the amount of money raised by the event Saturday was still being calculated, but that she was very pleased with the turnout and the event overall.

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