My positions on the issues are moderate and considered. I am a strong advocate for economic development and advancing Boise State University.
This issue is closely tied to economic
development. Idaho’s largest and most important school of higher learning
- Boise State University – is in District 17. Schools like BSU have done a good
job preparing people of all ages to earn a degree, get new career skills and
keep up with the workforce needs of Idaho. I support increasing funding for
Idaho universities, particularly for science, math and engineering.
Health care and Medicaid
I support time-tested and business-supported measures to improve access to health care, which includes a state-run health care exchange. I’d compare a state-run health care exchange to state-run efforts to manage environmental protection with our own Department of Environmental Quality – it is always preferable for the state to manage its own affairs instead of the federal government, particularly when the program would benefit Idaho businesses and families.
Students Come First:
I think we are left with few choices when it comes to this
issue. We have been trying to teach modern things with 19th-century
methods. I’m not against unions and they’ve had their place, but we need to
control our own destiny and have the school boards in charge of setting wages.
Public schools have been modernizing over the past decade with charter schools,
online education, welcoming homeschoolers and more innovations. Initiatives
like the Luna Laws are part of that trend. We are all personally tightening our
budgets at home and trying to be creative with the resources we have. I think
our government should be in the same position. We have to approach education
with creativity and do more with less. The model that has existed for years
isn't working. If 92% of our kids are graduating, but only 42% are going on to
college and an even smaller % are finishing college we have to understand why.
I think it is good we are incorporating technology into the overall
educational program and preparing our children for global competition. I
support teachers and understand teachers are not being replaced with
technology, but rather will be teaching it and helping students with their on line
Raising property taxes to make up for k-12 support shortfalls
We can't keep going to the same people over and over again asking for more
money. The lack of funding for schools is a result of the weak economy. We need
to broaden the base to support our schools. We must get people working again.
My top priority would be getting the economy going again. Also, the State Tax
Commission needs to go after those businesses and individuals that owe taxes
and cut fewer sweetheart deals.
I do support ethics reform for everyone. Elected officials need
to be accountable to their constituents in an open and honest manner. The same
laws apply to everyone. Both Democrats and Republicans have recently faced some
ethical challenges. To say that only one party is guilty of ethical violations
is incorrect. The improper use of a state paid newsletter sent to District
constituents by elected officials is as much of an ethical violation as an
improper sexual advance to a staff member by an elected official. Both are
wrong. I would strive to be ethical in all of my dealings. Well-publicized
cases of Idaho legislators engaging in illegal and unethical behavior have
gained considerable public attention, as well they should. Legislators and
other public officials should be held to a high standard. And they are.
Legislators found to have committed ethical or legal lapses have resigned or
lost elections. I don’t doubt there’s room for improvement, but by and large,
the system works.
I believe this is a matter between a woman, her husband or significant
other, her religion and her doctor. I see no reason to have a State Legislator also
in the room.
Further tax cuts
Even though property values have been declining, cities and other local governments
are continuing to take their levy rate increases and boise City, for example,
is almost at its maximum. In 2007, we had a similar population as today, yet
Ada County has added 44 new county jobs this budget year. If we’ve gone with
buying new cars, taking fewer vacations, cutting back on food and conserving
wherever we can, then government can too. I am in favor of eliminating the
personal property tax. Businesses are seriously burdened by this tax which in
many cases is more difficult to conduct and administer than it is worth. I
understand smaller counties may be hurt by the elimination of this tax. I would
hope we would see the lost revenues replaced by something else or over time the
loss could become absorbed.
We have to do a better job of managing our
water. Nampa and communities downstream are having to deal with dirty water
from Ada County. We need to become less reliant on
foreign sources of energy and develop our oil, gas and renewable sources.