November 2016 Treasure Valley Voters Guide

Welcome to our Voter Guide for November's local races, bonds and levies, as well as the presidential election. Compare candidates' views on the issues side by side and create your own ballot, which you can then print or email.

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...Please note: Candidates' responses have not been edited except for libel.

Idaho House District 18 - Seat B

Incumbent: Democrat Phylis KingTerm: Two yearsSalary: $16,684

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    Phylis King

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Biographical Information

Name your three priorities for Idaho. Do you support current policy on them? if not, describe your alternate plan. How would you pay for your proposals that have costs associated with them?

How should Idaho address the health care needs of the 78,000 residents in the so-called gap population? Do you support Medicaid expansion in some form? Some other proposal? Please address funding for the option you prefer.

What is the state's obligation to public schools? Is Idaho spending enough on buildings, teachers and operations? How can Idaho improve its go-on rate for students leaving high school?

What is your position on the relationship between the federal government, the states and local governments? Is the state right or wrong to hinder or pre-empt action on the local level? Should the state work to take more ownership or control of federal lands in Idaho?

Name three actions taken by the Legislature this past session that you opposed. Name three you supported or would support. Explain.

What is the proper role of a part-time citizen Legislature? Do you think Idaho’s current system works? Does the Legislature function well or do you see need for changes or improvements?

Do you support your party’s presidential nominee? Explain. Include in your answer who you plan to vote for and why.

Have you been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a misdemeanor or felony or had a withheld judgment? If so, what, when and where?

Have you or a company you owned filed bankruptcy? If so, when and where?

Education BS in microbiology and 6 semesters at the Art Center, college of Design
Prior political experience I have served in the Idaho House for 10 years now
Civic involvement Past President of Vista Neighborhood Assoc. Past board member of Boise Neighborhood housing. Past President and district director of Soroptimist International of boise
Years living in Idaho 28 years
My number one priority is investing in education. We need public schools to provide each and every child the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential in life. 2. I will continue to find a sensible solution for Medicaid redesign. I want to enable Idahoans to get the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. 3. Increasing the minimum wage generates business for our economy and eases the burden on taxpayer-funded services. It’s a win-win. Raising the minimum wage will help build an Idaho economy that works for everyone, not just the richest one percent.
I will fight for the right of Idaho citizens to exercise their personal responsibility to purchase their own affordable health insurance and not be dependant on indigent care funds and hospital charity. Redesign makes good fiscal sense. It will create an estimated 6,000 new jobs in Idaho, bring Idaho tax dollars back to Idaho, stop families from the embarrassment of having to file for bankruptcy to pay for their health care, and, above all, improve the health of many people and save lives. The increases in general fund revenues that we are currently seeing, can be directed toward funding the startup of Redesign but after it is established, I believe the savings and our tax dollars returning to Idaho will more than pay for covering the gap population.
I'm on the joint finance and appropriation committee (JFAC) and we are supportive of the governor's task force recommendations for increasing teacher pay and investing in schools. This fiscal year, JFAC increased funding for mentors in the schools and colleges to help students transition from K-12 to college and to improve our go-on rate. The cost of higher education continues to be a barrier for many students. I will continue to fight for more funding for scholarships and to keep tuition affordable.
I believe that we should partner with our local city and county governments and the federal government. We are all public servants and are here to provide services that private businesses either can not or will not provide. Government’s mission is to provide a safety net for many and build an infrastructure of schools, roads, corrections, public health and other services. We should use tax payer dollars wisely to give a hand up for our citizens. Yes, it is absolutely wrong to tell cities and counties what they can do. The citizens elect the local government officials just like they elect the state legislature. Let's let mayors and commissioners decide what is best for their communities. What is works for Boise is different than what works for Oakley or Kamiah. The legislature should not be in the business of micromanaging city government.
I opposed the pre-emption of plastic bags and minimum wages by local cities and counties. I opposed the bill that gives county commissioners the right to declare a public nuisance of federal lands. The nuisance bill is a poke in the eye to Federal Government but it has no punitive powers to actually carry through the demand. I opposed the homeowner property tax exemption be set at a maximum of $100,000. With the average home in Boise being valued at $300,000 or more, this will hurt Boise homeowners more than rural. I supported an increase in funding for K-12 education and the increase in funds available for the opportunity scholarship for students going to public colleges. I supported the bill that authorized the Public Defense Commission to develop rules for indigent defense standards. I supported funding and legislation that granted authority to Health and Welfare to include services for suicide prevention in the Department of Health and Welfare.
The advantage of a part-time citizen legislature is the diversity of ideas and opinions. The disadvantage is that governing is complex and newer legislators are overwhelmed. There is so much to learn and we are in committees, on the floor, answering correspondence and working 12 hours per day. Many newer legislators make decisions based on a 15 minute introduction by the sponsor. They are so busy that they don’t have time to seek out other points of view. There is always a push to get things done soon, not get things done right. Most big ideas and changes to public policy are done in interim committees, between sessions where we can spend days on just one issue. The problem is that many lawmakers have their “real” jobs and can not make trips to Boise, especially since we are not paid for the extra hours of work. The system puts too much power into the hands of committee chairmen and the speaker. Some very good ideas do not get a hearing.
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