Nampa Voting10.JPG

Nampa Voting10.JPG

Polling booths lay empty at the Karcher Church of the Nazarene on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Nampa.

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The Idaho Press partnered with the League of Women Voters of Idaho to publish these candidate surveys. To search by address for races and issues on your ballot, visit vote411.org.

Idaho State Senate District 11

Sen. Patti Anne Lodge

Sen. Patti Anne Lodge

Name: Patti Anne Lodge

  • Party: Rep
  • Incumbent
  • Mailing Address: Caldwell, 83607
  • Campaign Phone: (208) 459-7158
  • Website: Pattiannelodge.net
  • Facebook page: Senator Patti Anne Lodge
  • Facebook: Patti Anne Lodge
  • Twitter: @LodgeSenator

(Uncontested)

Questions:

Q: 1. What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

Patti Anne Lodge: I am Chairman of the Idaho Senate Leadership Committee, State Affairs, the Committee where the most difficult and controversial legislation is heard. I spend time working with others on legislation, listening to opinions, planning committee hearings, researching, reading mail and preparing debates. Legislation in the best interest of Canyon County citizens, property tax relief, economic development, transportation, education, justice reforms and legislation in my committee are priorities.

Q: 2. What experience has prepared you for this office?

Patti Anne Lodge: A lifetime of work, community and political service on the local, state, national and in the Idaho Senate has given me a broad perspective of the needs of Canyon County. With a background in education, agriculture, raising a successful family and community service, I have a deep appreciation for the people of Canyon County. I am dedicated to vote to support Canyon County not groups that “bully” legislators. Please see my website and Facebook page for more information.

Q: 3 What changes, if any, would you support related to state funding of public education?

Patti Anne Lodge: We would like to have more money for our students but money does not always mean successful students. There are more needs placed on education today that take money from the classroom that were not issues in the past. We must lesson the regulations and demands for certain expensive services placed on teachers and education. A free education must be valued by students and parents. The budgets have already been cut because of the virus. It will be a difficult funding year for everyone.

Q: 4. What do you see as Idaho's prison system's most important needs and how would you address those?

Patti Anne Lodge: I am actively working on prison issues. I was Co-Chair of the Justice Reinvestment Project which implemented correction savings. I served as Chairman of the Senate Committee which oversees the IDOC. I have carried legislation which changes education, work, training and savings programs for inmates. I am working on recidivism and why people return to crime. The most important need is for people not to get involved in the justice system in the first place.

Q: 5. What do you see as Idaho 's most important health care system needs and how would you address those?

Patti Anne Lodge: Idaho needs more primary care physicians especially in rural areas. We have increased our seats at medical schools for Idaho students but we need more. The use of telemedicine has promise for the future care of home bound, elderly, disabled and rural folks. This could help bring down the greatest need, lower cost. I am also concerned that so many of our medicines come from China and India. Medications must be manufactured in the United States.

Q: 6 What changes to income, sales, and property tax policies would you support?

Patti Anne Lodge: The greatest concern of homeowners in my district is property taxes and the huge increases that have come with growth in our Valley. Many homeowners are not able to pay taxes on their fixed incomes. Taxes are complex and complicated throughout the state. An Interim Committee will be reporting their findings next session. There must be better cooperation between school districts and other taxing districts to lower costs. Growth must pay for itself.

Q: 7 What measures do you support in updating Idaho's voting processes?

Patti Anne Lodge: The absentee voting process has been used in many states. We will measure the success after this election and decide if it is a process Idaho wants to retain. I hope that pole voting remains available in the future. I am concerned about groups in state and out of state that actively promote their own fundraising and agenda goals. They use tactics to intimidate legislators to their agenda not the needs of the constituents. They evade Idaho campaign laws. They are active in Idaho.

Q: 8. What are the biggest transportation priorities for Idaho in the next 20 years and how should the state prepare now to fund those projects?

Patti Anne Lodge: Rules, regulations and growth make it impossible to plan in the next 20 years. These regulations make ITD unable to study the feasibility of road improvements like High Occupancy Vehicle lanes and reverse direction lanes. Funding for infrastructure is expensive and there is more competition for these dollars as the state grows. People understand the need, they just do not want to pay more taxes.

Q: 9. Do you support local option sales tax authority for all cities and counties?

Patti Anne Lodge: No. I understand the wants of cities and counties but the biggest issue my constituents tell me about are taxes especially property and other taxes.


Idaho State House District 11 A

Name: Jacob Lowder

  • Party: Dem
  • Mailing Address: Wilder, 83676

Name: Scott Syme

  • Party: Rep
  • Incumbent
  • Mailing Address: Wilder, 83676
  • Campaign Phone: (208) 573-9301
  • Website: symeforidaho.com
  • Facebook page: Syme for Idaho

Questions:

Q: 1. What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

Jacob Lowder: Did not submit a survey response.

Scott Syme: I hope to be the best Servant to the people of District 11. If they have a problem with any State agency or part of the State government, I want them to know they can contact me and I will strive to resolve their issue. Where State government may not respond to them, they will to me. I want the people of District 11 to know I am accessible and they should not be afraid to contact me. My priority is to return phone calls and emails.

Q: 2. What experience has prepared you for this office?

Scott Syme: I've served 2 terms in the Idaho House of Representatives, giving me a unique perspective on how to make things happen in the Legislature. This last session as a member of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, I was able to delve into the State agency budgets and better understand what is necessary and what is not. 32 years in the Army and Army Reserve well equipped me to be able to work in a large organization and how building good relationships gets things accomplished.

Q: 3. What changes, if any, would you support related to state funding of public education?

Scott Syme: Our current circumstances in regard to COVID-19, necessitates we look at all aspects of our education system which in turn affects how education will be funded. The amount of on-line learning that we have been forced to accommodate needs to be reviewed as a model for an increased role in the delivery of education. Examining the requirement for seat time as a funding mechanism and looking more toward outcome based funding lends itself to a more productive system.

Q: 4. What do you see as Idaho's prison system's most important needs and and how would you address those?

Scott Syme: Reducing the number of people released from prison and then return to prison is a priority. Our prison system is filled with approximately 70% parole violators. By focusing on intervention centers in local communities to address issues of parolees, we can reduce the number of people going back to prison. Re-entry centers are a great way to transition inmates back into society by providing them the opportunity to work at a job while still under the close supervision of the prison system.

Q: 5. What do you see as Idaho's most important healthcare system needs and how would you address those?

Scott Syme: The cost of healthcare is by far the most critical issue facing Idahoans today. We need incentives to reward healthy lifestyles and promote tele-medicine. There are alternatives to traditional care such as a subscription based care where you pay an affordable monthly fee to have access to a family practice doctor. Those subscriptions need to be reimbursable through insurance. My concern with too much government run healthcare is that coverage does not always equate to access.

Q: 6. What changes to income, sales and property tax policies would you support?

Scott Syme: I would like to see a cap on property taxes, especially for people on fixed incomes. I am very concerned the counties are taxing the elderly out of their homes because of the rapid increase in property taxes. We need to address the issue with the sales tax on groceries. Sales tax on groceries is not a simple issue. Deciding what items will not be taxed can be contentious. Each family needs to calculate if they would be better with a grocery credit or certain groceries not being taxed.

Q: 7. What measures do you support in updating Idaho's voting processes?

Scott Syme: I have no problems with Idaho's voting processes.

Q: 8. What are the biggest transportation priorities in Idaho for the next 20 years, and how should the state prepare now to fund those projects?

Scott Syme: For the people of District 11 the priorities are Hwy 55 widening, Hwy 20/26 widening, Hwy 44 widening as well as the continuing widening of the freeway to Caldwell. I sponsored a bill to have growth in the number of vehicles on the road to help pay for all our transportation needs. We are deficit spending on our transportation infrastructure so we need to develop creative ways to have growth help pay its way. Certainly, counties and cities must examine the impact of new developments.

Q: 9. Do you support local option sales tax authority for all cities and counties?

Scott Syme: No. The retailers of cities and counties with a local option tax will be put at a disadvantage with cities and counties that do not have a local option tax. Shoppers tend to go where the goods are less expensive. Government taxation should not be the reason for retailers of one city or county to lose business to another city or county.


Idaho State House District 11 B

Rep. Tammy Nichols

Rep. Tammy Nichols

Name: Tammy Nichols

  • Party: Rep
  • Incumbent
  • Mailing Address: Middleton, 83644
  • Campaign Phone: (208) 917-2409
  • Website: nicholsforidaho.com
  • Facebook page: Nichols for Idaho
  • Twitter: @nicholsforidaho
Savala, Edward

Name: Edward Savala

  • Party: Dem
  • Mailing Address: Caldwell, 83605
  • Campaign Phone: (208) 989-1246

Questions:

Q: 1. What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

Tammy Nichols: Being re-elected will allow me to continue to work on deregulation. Because of legislative actions by our members in the House, Idaho became one of the most deregulated states in the nation, but there is more to do! We need to continue deregulation in order to bring businesses and jobs to the state. This will become critical because of what we as a state are currently experiencing. I also want to continue my efforts with bringing back the trades industry, which is also crucial in many aspects.

Edward Savala: Make it easier to vote, increase minimum wage, decrease cost college education and more.

Q: 2. What experience has prepared you for this office?

Tammy Nichols: Prior to being elected, I had many opportunities to work with various legislators on issues such as education. I testified, helped with bills, united efforts and kept people informed. I have now served 2 years in the legislature, and because of my previous experience, I have had a good head start in being a representative. I also work with many local and national groups on a wide array of issues, and have been involved with the Republican Party for several years which also helped prepare me.

Edward Savala: Having to care for others. Seeing how the less fortunate deal with an unfair economic and political system.

Q: 3. What changes, if any, would you support related to state funding of public education?

Tammy Nichols: Idaho's education budget is currently around $2 billion (K-12), or roughly half of the states total budget. There seems to be this idea that more money equals a better education. The unfortunate part is that much of that money does not end up in the classrooms or to the teachers, it ends up in administrative cost. I would like to see more accountability and transparency regarding the use of tax payer funds in education, and more money actually going to the classrooms and teachers.

Edward Savala: Support the needs of teachers, students, and parents.

Q: 4. What do you see as Idaho's prison system's most important needs and and how would you address those?

Tammy Nichols: In speaking with those who work with our prison population, it became clear to me that providing opportunities to learn a trade or receive a certification while incarcerated would change people's lives. It is proven that if prisoners have a skill that they can utilize once released, then the percentage for them re-offending greatly decreases. I had the opportunity of introducing a couple of bills in committee to start this conversation and process . I look forward to continuing that effort!

Edward Savala: Decrease time spent in prison for some and increase fines for lessor crimes

Q: 5. What do you see as Idaho's most important healthcare system needs and how would you address those?

Tammy Nichols: Cost is a huge issues, because healthcare is one of the only industries where you typically have no idea what you are paying upfront. I think that price transparency would help everyday people to be able to have the knowledge they need to make the best decisions about their health care. This way they can shop around, plan for upcoming cost, and make better informed decisions. I believe this also would create healthy competition in the health care industry. Prices should be easy to find and read.

Edward Savala: Make Medicare an option to private insurance.

Q: 6. What changes to income, sales and property tax policies would you support?

Tammy Nichols: I know that tax payers want tax relief. I voted for House Bill 409 which would have frozen budgets to be levied saving Idaho property owners about $80-90 million in 2020. I also supported the amended version of Senate Bill 1277 which would have increased the homeowner's exemption while off setting taxing district budgets by an equal amount, saving property owners over $30 million. Both bills passed the House but did not survive in the Senate. I also co-sponsored grocery tax repeal.

Edward Savala: Increase minimum wage and support sales, income and property taxes, things worthwhile aren't free

Q: 7. What measures do you support in updating Idaho's voting processes?

Tammy Nichols: One measure I support is implement full voter ID. Currently if a voter is unable to present accepted ID, they are allowed to sign a personal identification affidavit swearing to their identity. I also would like to see Canyon County utilize technology more by having online streaming available in the elections office for voters to watch while ballots are being counted. Our neighbors in Ada do this and I feel that would add an extra layer of transparency in the voting process.

Edward Savala: Mail in ballets as an option, early voting, state holiday for voting could be Saturday.

Q: 8. What are the biggest transportation priorities in Idaho for the next 20 years, and how should the state prepare now to fund those projects?

Tammy Nichols: Roads are always on the priority list for Idaho. In order to accomplish this there needs to be clear goals set in place with a plan and a timeline on how to get there, with projects placed in categories on severity. ITD currently has a $100M budget. I would also like to see more accountability and transparency on how the money is being utilized and accounted for. What projects are being targeted and accomplished and was any effort made to minimize cost? Impact fees could help minimize expense.

Edward Savala: Solar power, electric cars and public transportation.

Q: 9. Do you support local option sales tax authority for all cities and counties?

Tammy Nichols: They have the right to pursue it, but it also takes the states approval. With our current circumstances caution should be utilized in this approach. A local option tax is really a increased sales tax; most people in the state already feel that they are being well taxed. I think before we even entertain this idea, that all counties and cities should thoroughly audit what they are currently spending, and if there are any places they can cut back; just like we the people do in our own budgets.

Edward Savala: No, again things aren't free.

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