Bachelors Degree in Business Administration/Public Administration
Prior political experience
Currently serving in the State Senate. Elected in 2014.
Active member of Cloverdale United Reformed Church in Boise
Years living in Idaho
Husband, Scott, married 14 years. Kids: Willem (11), Anya (8), and Eva (4)
My top three priorities are 1) reducing Idaho's dependence upon the federal government so that we, as a state, can determine our own destiny without the federal government dictating how we must do everything, 2) ensuring that we have an education system that serves our students and prepares them for the future and provides a return on investment for our taxpayers, and 3) promoting policies that will create a diverse economy that provides options and opportunities for all Idaho citizens. I do not support the current policy of our state which rarely turns down federal dollars. Over 35% of our state budget comes from federal dollars along with all the associated regulations. This means that Idaho does not control its own destiny. We need diverse economic growth in our own state so that we can utilize our own tax revenues for the needs of Idaho. I supported the increased funding for education, but we need to track this carefully to ensure that Idahoans are getting what they need from our education system. I do not support the current state policies that favor one business over another, like the Tax Reimbursement Incentive. I will support tax policies that are fair to all businesses.
I do not support expanding Medicaid in Idaho because it does not make sense to expand a system that is broken. We need to find solutions and options that empower people to make their own choices about their healthcare along with policies that allow doctors and service providers to provide care without having to go through insurance companies, like private contracts for health care. Our medical care is being dictated by federal policies and by what insurance companies will cover and what cost they will pay to providers. Insurance does not equal healthcare, and accepting federal dollars to expand a broken system is not the solution. In addition, by accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid, we would be complicit in adding to our country's deficit spending and national debt.
The state has a constitutional obligation to "establish and maintain a general, uniform, and thorough system of public, free common schools" per Article IX of the Idaho Constitution. Idaho has obligated over 60% of its general fund budget to education. We have committed as a state to increasing the amount of funds being allocated for teacher salaries, and local districts have the ability to supplement those funds with their discretionary dollars. We are increasingly supporting appropriate accountability measures in our public school system, and I believe that through choice and innovation we can improve upon the current system. The state needs to remove regulatory barriers in order to allow local districts to meet the needs of their students. Also, Idaho colleges and universities need to make the case to Idaho seniors that the education they are providing is worth the cost of attending. In addition, through better college and career advising, which the legislature has supported, counselors can assist students in making the best decision for their future, whether that is a traditional 4-year degree or some other alternative that meets their needs.
The states created the federal government for the very limited purpose of doing the things they could not do as individual states such as national defense, coining money, protection of the constitutional rights of its citizens, etc., while the states reserved all other powers to themselves. We have seen explosive growth in the federal government in areas that the framers never intended, namely education, environmental quality, energy, amongst others. States have ceded much of their rightful power to the federal government either because they do not want to find their own solutions or they accept the lure of federal dollars. In contrast, cities are a creation of the state per the Idaho Constitution Article XII, and the state has the proper constitutional authority over certain aspects of the law. In certain circumstances, the state does have the right to hinder or pre-empt action at the local level, particularly if the city or municipality is violating the constitutional rights of its citizens.
Opposed H 646: This bill appropriated $7.5 million for the purchase of a conservation easement on private land in northern Idaho. I believe the land could have been preserved without the expense to taxpayers.
Opposed H 644a: As amended in the Senate, this bill would have initiated the process for Idaho to expand Medicaid.
Opposed S 1288: This bill broadened the purposes for which workforce development training funds could be utilized. This is a program that utilizes taxpayer dollars from existing Idaho businesses to award to new or expanding businesses. Several businesses that utilized these funds in Idaho have now shut down, and the state did not recoup the investment.
Supported S1389: This bill allows Idaho residents age 21 years old or older to carry a concealed weapon within city limits without obtaining a permit.
Supported H 570: The Innovation Schools Act encourages schools to evaluate existing laws and request waivers from the state that would allow them to respond in innovative ways to meet the local school's needs.
Supported S 1297a: I supported this legislation, which authorized the Secretary of State to develop and implement an on-line voter registration application
I believe Idaho's current system of having a part-time citizen legislature functions quite well. Citizen legislators are regular Idahoans just like the people they serve and represent. By not having a full-time legislature, it keeps individuals from becoming career politicians because they have to make a living by doing something other than being a politician.
No. I have never been a supporter of Donald Trump because I do not believe he truly embodies conservative principles and what the republican party stands for including limited government, personal responsibility, and constitutionally protected freedoms. He has promoted frivolous uses for eminent domain and has advocated for stop and frisk policing which is clearly unconstitutional. While I understand that he appeals to many based on his "outsider" status and his willingness to say what he thinks, he has brought unprecedented division to our party and incivility to the political arena by insulting many groups of people including those with disabilities, minority groups, veterans, and women. I will be voting for a third party candidate for President.