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:

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

Idaho Senate District 18

Incumbent: Democrat Janie Ward-EngelkingTerm: Two yearsSalary: $16,684

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    Janie Ward-Engelking

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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?

Age 68
Education Bachelor of Science, Masters Degree
Prior political experience State Representative District 18 (1 year) State Senator District 18 (3 years)
Civic involvement Boise Junior League, Phi Delta Kappa member, Statewide Community Outreach Task Force, Boise School District Drug Advisory Committee, Curriculum writer for CWI and the Boise School District, plus numerous education boards and committees
Years living in Idaho I am a native Idahoan and have lived in Idaho for over 50 years.
Family Kay Frank Engelking-Husband, 5 children, and 8 grandchildren
Twitter page @WardEngelking
My top three priorities are education, our economy and jobs, and maintaining the quality of life we have come to enjoy. Education is intertwined with the growth of our economy and the businesses we attract. Businesses in Idaho have told us education is their top priority and they need a highly skilled workforce if they are to be successful. We also want to ensure our children and grandchildren have the job opportunities they need to stay and raise their families in Idaho. As we attract new businesses and higher paying jobs, we will grow the economy and be able to provide the services that are critical to our state. We also need to deal with our infrastructure and make sure we have a plan in place that addresses the future needs of our communities.
I support the Healthy Idaho Plan (SB1205) to cover the over 78,000 hardworking Idahoans who fall in "the gap population" or any other plan that provides health coverage to these Idahoans. These Idahoans make too much to qualify for medicaid and too little to qualify for a subsidy on the Idaho Insurance Exchange. The only access they have to health care is through the emergency room. This is the most expensive care and does not address wellness issues. We would save millions of tax dollars, if we provided coverage for the "gap population." It is simply financially irresponsible to not provide coverage to this group and the moral implications are huge.
Article IX Section 1 of the Idaho Constitution says, "it is the duty of the the legislature of Idaho to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools." It is one of the few duties spelled out in the Idaho Constitution. We are not meeting this constitutional mandate. We currently have 44 school districts operating on a four day school week. They were forced to move to a four day week, because they did not have the funds to operate a five day week. The number of school districts forced to pass bonds or levies to fund their schools continues to grow. We can and need to do better. In order to ensure Idaho has the workforce it needs for the future, we must improve our go-on rate. The biggest obstacle students face is the cost of tuition. Providing access to dual credits, additional need-based scholarships, and providing more funding to our colleges and universities are critical components to improving the go-on rate for our students.
I oppose any plan to take ownership or control of federal lands in Idaho, as we simply cannot afford it. One bad fire year would bankrupt our state. I also oppose any plan that denies public access or sells off our public lands to the highest bidder. However, I do support collaboration and partnerships with the state in the management of our public lands. I believe it is hypocritical to criticize the federal government for dictating to the state when we turn around and tell local governments what they can and cannot do. Government closest to the people should make the laws that govern their communities.
We passed many positive and important bills this year. We were able to add Pupil Service Staff to the career ladder and fund the second year of the career ladder. We were also able to fund additional career and college counselors, provide reading intervention for grades K-3, continue support for STEM education, fund more dual credit opportunities, and increase scholarship awards. I also supported SB1373 which expands protection for people being stalked or harassed and HB 528 which instructs law enforcement officials to test rape kits. We are also moving forward on justice reinvestment which allow us to use our limited resources in a more positive way. I opposed HB431 which removed the indexing on the homeowner's exemption. The exemption will now be capped at 50% of the home's value or $100,000 whichever is less. Homeowners with homes valued over $200,000 should expect a tax increase next year. I also opposed allowing a person to carry a concealed weapon without a permit within city limits which indirectly removes the training previously required for a permit. I did not support the bills that limited local control over minimum wage and containers.
Part-time citizen legislators need to make sure they stay in contact with their constituents, so they can provide quality representation. This means it is really a year round job. I worry that our system is more conducive to older, retired people or farmer/ranchers who have time to serve during the winter months. However, I am impressed with the dedication and expertise of my fellow legislators. The system works best when we have more balance in the legislature. I believe in having full hearings on all bills that are important to the public. The best legislation happens when all stakeholders are involved and the public can weigh in on the issues.
I support and will be voting for the democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. She has spent thirty years working on issues that matter to families and children. Hillary will be a strong advocate for hardworking Americans and will work tirelessly to keep us safe. She has the knowledge and the temperament necessary to be president of the United States.