Your education is your “toolbelt” for life. The more tools at your disposal, the more you can do for yourself and others. As Idahoans, we have agreed in our state constitution that we support and will fund our public education system to make sure everyone has a chance at a productive and purposeful life. For too long, we emphasized a four-year college degree as the route for everyone. I will continue to support educational success through all avenues including career technical education, military service, on-the-job training such as apprenticeships, and college education.
We are feeling the effects of a demographic shift with more people retired and in need of service than are available to provide service. This is true across many sectors of the economy, but particularly a problem in healthcare. I will continue to support medical education programs in Idaho. I will not propose or support legislation that threatens the life of a woman or threatens medical professionals with felony convictions and loss of medical licenses.
Our quality of life depends on being able to get where we want to go, on having viable water and sewer systems, and on having modern, reliable communications. The state regulates or provides these services. I will continue bringing our tax dollars north for highway improvements. I know how to bring reasonable solutions to the table for local sewer and water systems.
We have a property tax system in Idaho that needs an overhaul. It works okay during flat economic times. In upturns or downturns, the property tax system shifts the tax burden around like a flag turns with the wind. In recent times with home values rising faster than other properties, homeowners have been taking the burden. I will propose a more stable property tax system.
Whether for work or play, we have abundant natural resources in North Idaho that must be managed properly. None of us like spending our summers breathing wildfire smoke. All of us want our lake and river waters managed for maximum use. As our population grows, groundwater management is becoming more and more important also. No one wants a dry well. I understand the issues and will work for you to make sure we’re getting the right answers.
“Government of the people, by the people, for the people” was President Lincoln’s phrase describing a responsible and responsive system of government. When government is working properly, your call is returned, your input is part of the solution, you have a say in the rules and regulations that affect your daily life. My time spent overseas observing other countries, my lifetime in Idaho, and my military service have combined to give me great respect for our institutions… and the ability to fix them when they aren’t working properly.