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.

Election Day:

Looking for more coverage? Visit for previews, voting information and other things to know before you vote.

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

Idaho Senate District 17

Incumbent: Democrat Maryanne JordanTerm: Two yearsSalary: $16,684

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Robert Herrin

  • Candidate picture

    Maryanne Jordan

Social Media

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?

Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Candidate response is not yet available.
Age 63
Education Bachelor's degree in political science from San Jose State University
Prior political experience Boise City Councilmember since 2003, Boise City Planning & Zoning Commission
Civic involvement Former president West Valley Neighborhood Association, Member-Boise City Homelessness Roundtable, Graduate - Citizen's Police Academy and Citizen's Law Academy
Years living in Idaho 22
Family Husband-Rocky, 2 stepchildren, 5 grandchildren
Twitter page @jordansen17
Three priorities for Idaho are education, good paying jobs and health care. While progress has been made on education funding, Idaho is still lagging behind and only funding at 2009 levels. University budgets are not keeping pace with the increase in students, so costs and student loan debt continue to increase. Approximately half of all states collect sales tax on internet purchases. Idaho should consider this as a source for better education funding. Idaho ranks at the bottom of states for pay. Yet Department of Labor research shows that states that have increased minimum wage have actually seen better job growth than those who stay at current levels. People earning a living wage are less in need of government assistance and have more income to circulate in the economy. Current policy on health care has left 78,000 Idahoans the gap. Funding strategy is articulated in the answer to question #2.
I support Medicaid expansion to provide health insurance to the 78,000 Idahoans in the gap. This issue has been studied repeatedly over the last several years and the result is always the same - Medicaid should be expanded. Idaho is leaving millions of dollars on the table and worse than that, leaving 78,000 people without adequate health coverage. The state catastrophic fund returned $28million to the general fund this year because so many more people have acquired health insurance through the exchange. If the gap population were covered the savings would be even greater and that savings could be used to pay for expansion. In addition, individual counties would save millions in their CAT fund obligations. This savings could go toward public defense costs, thus relieving the state of that obligation and freeing those funds to help pay for expansion.
Article IX of the Idaho constitution states that “it shall be the duty of the legislature to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.” Idaho is not spending enough on education. This past session operational funds were increased to 2009 levels. This does not account for inflation or the increase in the number of students since 2009. Therefore local districts are relying more and more on levies, shifting the funding burden to property tax payers. This creates inequities in different districts. Those with smaller populations simply cannot provide additional dollars and are forced to cut programs and in some instances go to four day school weeks. Improving the go on rate will take time. Public preschool is proven to significantly improve reading readiness, increasing the opportunity for success in K-12. Increased university costs are saddling students with massive amounts of debt. Hundreds of millions of dollars in sales tax not collected because of the myriad of exemptions that currently exist could go a long way toward improving education in Idaho.
Idaho receives billions of dollars a year from the federal government – more than we pay in federal taxes. This money helps fund education, transportation, Medicaid, natural resources, economic development and many other programs. The idea that just because a program is federal it is automatically bad does not provide proper analysis on any issue. Idaho does not have the resources to take over federal lands. Nor are there any guarantees that the land will remain open and accessible if taken over by the state. Our dollars should be spent on education and health care. With regard to cities, it is ironic that a body that bristles against the federal government is so willing to limit the ability of cities to address needs in their communities. Idaho cities have different needs. The same voters who send us to the legislature can assess the effectiveness of their city leaders and decide their fate at the polls.
I opposed the cap on the homeowner’s exemption. This bill will eliminate indexing of the exemption, causing property taxes to go up for homeowner’s and down for all other property owners. I opposed more funding for the Constitutional Defense Fund. The legislature continues to pass bills in the face of legal opinions declaring them unconstitutional and the taxpayers are paying the price. I opposed bills that would preempt local control. Citizens of Idaho cities should be able to craft local solutions to their community issues. I supported expanded protective orders and testing for rape kit evidence. I would have loved to support, and look forward to the day I can vote for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Discrimination is bad for business and bad for Idaho.
The proper role of the legislature is to set the budget for the state and to establish laws for the protection of citizens. A part time legislature leaves many diverse and qualified citizens unable to consider service. They simply can’t leave their jobs and families for three months or more. This results in a legislature that may not adequately reflect the population. I would ask employers to consider policies that would allow employees the time to serve, knowing they would have their job when the session was complete.
I support and plan to vote for Hillary Clinton. We live in a complex world. I want a president who understands the complicated international stage and has the experience and temperament to deal with complicated issues. I also want a president who supports and upholds the civil rights of all Americans. And I am thrilled to cast a vote for a smart, qualified woman for President of the United States.