B.A. Communication and Political Science, Boise State University
Enrolled in Concordia University School of Law Juris Doctor Program
Prior political experience
Years living in Idaho
My wife, Sarah, and I have six children ages 5-15
Making government accountable, accessible, and responsive
All three of these areas require constant attention as the economy, technology, and society change over time.
Any attempt to change indigent healthcare in Idaho should accomplish two things: 1) avoid an over-reliance on emergency medicine; and, 2) save money, including alleviating reliance on county catastrophic care funds.
An over-reliance on emergency medicine is extremely expensive and it cripples the quality of care for the population at large. Traditional Medicaid expansion costs participants the same out of pocket to utilize the emergency room as it does to make and keep a doctor's office appointment: nothing. It's hard to see an incentive not to use the ER if there is no additional financial cost. Emphasizing primary care is critical in being able to make a change to healthcare policy.
Second, Idaho counties are spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money every year for catastrophic care. If these costs can be shifted to cover a significant portion of a different solution then we can avoid increasing the burden on the taxpayer. The PCAP proposal last year failed on this point since patients with significant medical problems would have still needed to rely on the catastrophic care funds for anything beyond routine preventative care.
Idaho faces real challenges in job-readiness--from our post-secondary placement rate to the exodus of our homegrown talent to jobs in other states. One of the problems is that we've over-emphasized the bachelor's degree as the preferred post-secondary track for students and in the process have inadvertently stigmatized technical, certificate, and vocational training. This has caused our higher education priorities to become uncoupled from the direction of the job market. If our youth see their peers graduating with a degree and either struggling to find relevant employment or moving out of the state, where is their incentive to "go on?" The job market is diverse, the talents and abilities of our students are diverse, our post-secondary priorities should be diverse as well.
The government closest to the people govern best and I believe we should honor that concept wherever practicable. However, while the federal Constitution serves as a limit on our federal government, our state constitution spells out responsibilities the state must fulfill. Additionally, decisions that stifle tourism, injure neighboring communities, quell economic growth, and undermine or circumvent the democratically enacted social policies of the rest of the state are not appropriately in the local purview.
Idahoans should manage lands in Idaho. The expiration of the Secure Rural Schools money recently highlighted the importance of rejuvenating the economies of areas that have traditionally relied on our rich natural resources. The federal government isn't allowing reasonable, sustainable utilization of our public lands. This is neither reasonable nor responsible. Whether through cooperative management, transfer, or otherwise we need to led Idahoans take over, take care of the lands, and take care of our future.
Three bills I sponsored and saw become law are: 1) the sexting bill that removed the act of teenaged sexting from the child pornography statute and removed the possibility of a non-expungable felony conviction and a registry as a sex offender for self-created content; 2) the bill that divided community college districts into distinct, geographical trustee zones; and, 3) a bill that allowed surviving spouses of our veterans to acquire veterans plates after their veterans’ passing.
We are your watchdogs: making sure that state government operates as it should and staying accessible to you and your input. There are a lot of talented, thoughtful people in the Legislature and it works well. It’s a privilege to serve with people of such varied skills and backgrounds. It is difficult for someone of working age to serve—by virtue of the small salary and large time commitment—but I don’t have any specific recommendations for change.
I am greatly disappointed in this year’s presidential election. There isn’t a single party candidate (third parties included) who hasn’t advocated for policies that I believe to be unconstitutional. If we are to protect our freedoms, we need to stay motivated to make good choices further down on our ballots—our Congressional and state leaders are our best hope.
2009 – Disturbing the Peace and Malicious Injury to Property
2003 – Dog at Large
2004 and 2012. Both were primarily medical debt.
Home educated through high school, Currently in the final semester of a degree in International Political Economy from The College of Idaho.
Prior political experience
This is my first time running for elected office.
I have spent a lot of time volunteering in Idaho schools, focusing on students who have special needs or are behind in their studies.
Years living in Idaho
My wife Nia and I are in our second year of marriage. We are excited to start a family in this great State and hope to preserve its beautiful nature and independent spirit for our children.
Healthcare, education, and a vigorous defense of the rights of citizens. I do not support our current healthcare policies - we need to take the federal money to expand Medicaid. If we do that, it will actually save the state money, while expanding care to 78,000 residents. I do support our current education policies, though I will push to improve them. We currently have a government in Boise that is getting bigger and bigger and is violating the rights of citizens in favor of corporations. We need to say no to big government and give the power back to the people and the local governments. Local governments are better suited to meeting the needs of their constituents.
We must expand Medicaid. According to independent analysis from Milliman Inc., Idaho’s annual cost over the next ten years if we don't take action will be $117 million dollars. If we accept the federal money and expand Medicaid, our annual cost will be 99 million dollars, a savings of 180 million dollars over ten years. And it would cover at least 78,000 more residents - quite possibly as many as 100,000 more residents.
Idaho is on the right track and moving in a positive direction, but we aren't there yet. We're still about $1000 per student short of inflation-adjusted pre-recession spending. We need to get back up to that point at the very least. There are several ways we can improve our go on rate. An important one is encouraging students to take more college credit while still in High School. Another great option is to show students that there are a range of options available to them. They don't all have to go to a four-year college. Trade schools are an excellent option and there are many vocational training programs that will help students get to whether they need to be.
The State has no business trying to hinder or pre-empt action at a local level. As a general rule, the closer to the people, the more efficient and beneficial government action is. State government trying to prevent local government from performing the will of the people is just as bad if not worse than the federal government trying to prevent the States from taking action. That's big government, and it is not what Idahoans believe in. I believe that the State should work with the Federal Government to take over some of the federal lands in Idaho. I believe that this process will take time and need to be cooperative. I appreciate the pilot program that is already in place.
I oppose HB 372 and HB 463, which prevent local governments from making laws about plastic bags and minimum wages respectively. These bills are unconstitutional and represent big government - taking power away from the people. The third bill I oppose - SB 1339 - also represents big government and taking power away from the people. It makes it so that Idaho citizens can have the rights to the minerals (such as oil) under their land taken away from them if the majority of their neighbors want to. This is wrong. The people of Idaho recognize the right of individuals to their land and whatever is under it. The fact that the legislature would make this kind of power grab is appalling.
I support HB 458, which makes it easier for Idaho high school students to earn college credits. I support HB 345. It creates an appeals process for taxpayers whose land has been determined by an assessor to no longer be forest land. This is exactly the kind of legislation we need to give people the power they need. I also support HB 428. It would modernize Idaho licensing boards to protect them against anti-trust regulation as well as mandate that at least one consumer member.
The purpose of a citizen Legislature is to have a diverse group of people who work and live in the real world. When we have farmers, ranchers, engineers, bankers, architects, teachers, nurses, lawyers, doctors and many other types of people in our Legislature we get much more well-rounded policies. These people bring their experience and their diverse views on all these issues into the state government.
Being a small-business owner, educator, student of politics, and many other things better prepares me to analyze all the different policies that come before me. When I don’t know what to do, being active in the world outside of politics gives me many resources – often in the form of people – to look to for guidance. It is vital that as legislators we think about how the laws we pass will everyone around us. Being citizens first and legislators second helps with this.
Idaho's current system works overall. However, the Legislature is sometimes unresponsive to the concerns of citizens, which is a deeply troubling to me. We need to be working for the people, not against their will.
I do. Before I continue, let me add that my focus is on Idaho and Idaho issues. That is where my energy is going and that is what I care about most.
Hillary Clinton is not perfect, but she is clearly better than Donald Trump. His degrading comments towards women, minorities, Muslims, veterans, and disabled people aside, he does not support the Constitution. He has made statements against freedom of the press and assembly (1st amendment), he has made statements against the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th amendments. To me, this is enough evidence that he needs to be stopped.
Yes, I filed for personal bankruptcy along with my wife. In 2014 my wife became too ill to work. Her loss of work in conjunction with excessive medical bills necessitated bankruptcy.