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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Idaho House District 10 - Seat A

Incumbent: Republican Brandon Hixon Term: Two yearsSalary: $16,684

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    Brandon Hixon

  • Jeremy Lopett

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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 38
Education Graduate of Salmon High School (2000) Graduate of Idaho State University Construction Management (2002) Attended Boise State University (2003-2004)
Prior political experience Idaho State Representative 2012-Present Commissioner Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs 2012-2016 Idaho Health Care Task Force member 2012-2015 Idaho Invasive Species Working Group 2016-Present Republican Precinct Vice-Chairman 2008-2011 Republican Legislative District 10 Vice-Chairman 2012-2014 Canyon County Republican Presidential Caucus Chairman 2012-2016 Canyon County Republican of the Year 2012
Civic involvement Veterans Affairs, MDA Fundraisers, Caldwell Food Drive Volunteer, Church Fundraisers, Elks
Years living in Idaho 4th Generation Native Idahoan, 34 years
Family 3 children.
Twitter page @hixonforidaho
1. Find alternate ways to fund transportation instead of the same old user pay system. I appreciate the fact that users pay for the road system in Idaho, but the truth of the matter is that we have a major shortfall in transportation funding and the gas tax is not keeping up with demand due to high fuel efficiency in vehicles. I think we need a fundamental shift in the way we fund Idaho's infrastructure, including using some general fund surplus revenue when we have good years.

2. Bring higher paying jobs to Idaho. If we have sound tax policy, we can attract and retain employers that pay good wages. Our corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the west.

3. Keep wasteful spending in check. Those that have followed my service at the State Capitol have seen firsthand that I have been very aggressive in protecting our hard earned taxpayer dollars. I will work extensively to make sure that Idaho remains one of the most fiscally sound states in the union. It is critical that we not waste taxpayer money on unnecessary programs. I do not currently support some of the large increases within governmental departments, my alternate plan is to cut spending, and return it to taxpayers.
I will continue to vote against Medicaid Expansion. My heart goes out to those that are in this gap population. I have met with them and listened intently to their struggles and stories. I also understand, however, the struggle that the middle class taxpayer in Idaho is faced with year over year. The burden on the middle class is getting worse every year with double digit increases in insurance premiums, along with higher deductibles, and higher co-pays. I have been a leader in trying to put more buying power back in the hands of everyday hard working Idahoans. I whole heartily agree that the status quo in healthcare needs to change, and I am committed to furthering that effort as a State Representative with managed care, the SHIP initiative and more buying power as it relates to healthcare for Idaho citizens. What I will NOT support, however, is another government program that expends more taxpayer money (federal or otherwise) in place of a viable solution that does not include the middle class Idahoan. The best path forward in my mind is is a healthcare system where patients have have more buying power, and the insurers and providers are engaged in healthy competition.
The state has a tremendous obligation to public schools, as dictated in our Idaho constitution. We have increased spending in excess of pre-recession levels, and there is much more work to be done. As a state legislator, I want to make sure that we are seeing a good return on investment for expenditures towards education in Idaho. I think we have certainly seen some progress over the last 4 years, but Idaho's school infrastructure needs to be revisited as our buildings age. I have heard positive things about the new career ladder for teachers in Idaho, and we need to continue to refine that process as we move forward. Idaho can improve its go on rate by making sure that our students feel secure in knowing that they have many options when they graduate high school. Idaho has great universities, tech schools, community colleges, and specialty schools. We need to also be realistic with our youth in terms of student debt. That is one very large barrier to students who want to go on. We need to make sure they will receive a good return on investment in the programs that they choose.
The relationship between these governmental entities is quite complicated. The best way to govern is to give the majority of power to those who are closest to the area affected. Local control is always a good option, with limitations. I don't agree that unaccountable and non-elected bureaucrats back in Washington DC can make the best decisions for Idahoans in any capacity. I also am realistic though in the sense that we need some uniformity throughout federal, state, and local regulations, however, that uniformity should never be an excuse for bad public policy as it relates to a local governed area. As a State Representative, I have fought against this time and again. The State of Idaho is operating within the confines of its constitutional authority to pre-empt action at the local level on some issues that require such action. The State of Idaho should continue to engage in healthy discussion about taking more control of our Federal lands. This is an issue that we need to find a very level headed and prudent path forward on. I think this issue is absolutely worth finding a viable solution that is acceptable to all stakeholders, especially Idaho citizens.
I have opposed several pieces of legislation this past session. The main ones that come to mind are many of the budget bills that I thought were excessive in the way of spending increases. I am not apt to vote in favor of a budget bill that has a double digit increase unless there is a very pressing reason. There are other pieces of legislation that I voted against like RS24304, that would limit damages paid out to citizens from property and casualty insurance companies if they were breaking the law. One other that I voted against was the Senate amended version of HB644, which dealt with medicaid expansion. There were also several very good pieces of legislation that were passed. Those included HB555, which was a common sense fix to penalties associated with exploitation, HB521 which grants a minor in possession of alcohol immunity if they stay and help with an emergency, and HB513A to fix the Real ID issues so Idahoans can board airplanes and enter federal facilities.
The reason that Idaho has a citizen Legislature is to prevent having full time professional politicians. This creates a system by which those that govern are closest to the average citizen in Idaho. I think the current system works, however, it cuts out younger generation people that want to get involved at a State level because of the extremely low salary that is associated with the position. It is a "part time" position, however due to lack of adequate staff, interim committees, constituent meetings, campaigning, etc, it is more of a full time position than most realize. This position is one of true service to Idaho, and there are improvements to be made.
I did not support Donald Trump in the Republican Primary. Keeping a level head and exercising prudence is something I strive for when I govern in the Idaho Legislature, and I put any presidential candidate under a microscope for these attributes. At first glance I had a hard time seeing that in Trump's character. I will say that I support him now as the Republican nominee for President, and I would never (let me emphasize NEVER) vote for Clinton. I also think that a Trump administration would certainly be easier to work with at the federal level. Trump has also put together more attractive policies including, military policies, foreign affairs policies, tax policies etc. Because of these reasons I will vote for Trump. I will conclude this question with my promise to Idahoans. My steadfast resolve for my constituents encompassing the 1.6 million people that live in Idaho, is that I will continue to do everything in my power to shield Idaho from harmful federal policy no matter which administration takes the reigns of the Presidency. Idaho will always stand out among the rest of the 49 states as a true glittering diamond that we all love.
I have made some mistakes in my youth, like most of us have. I have been convicted of five misdemeanors, which were all youthful indiscretions. All in Idaho. These consist of two minor in possession of alcohols (yes I drank a few beers as a kid growing up in a small town in Idaho), one urinating in public, one invalid drivers license, and one curfew violation. These youthful indiscretions were all between 14 and 18 years ago, when I was between the ages of 15 to 19 years old. They were great learning experiences.
I have never filed bankruptcy.
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