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Voters cast their ballots on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Caldwell.

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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 14

C. Scott Grow

C. Scott Grow

Name: C Scott Grow

n Party: Rep

Incumbent

n Mailing Address: Eagle, 83616

n Campaign Phone: (208) 807-0316

n Website: cscottgrowforidaho.com

n Campaign Facebook: C. Scott Grow for State Senate

Ellen Spencer

Ellen Spencer

Name: Ellen B Spencer

n Party: Ind

n Mailing Address: Eagle, 83616

n Campaign Phone: (208) 899-2162

n Website: spencerforidaho.com

n Twitter: @SpencerForIdaho

Questions:

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

C Scott Grow: As Vice Chair — Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee, I plan to: 1.Sponsor a bill to REDUCE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TAXES. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I will support legislation to: 1. Reduce traffic congestion by WIDENING both CHINDEN BLVD. and HIGHWAY 44 all the way to the Canyon County border; and to EXTEND HIGHWAY 16 FROM CHINDEN TO THE FREEWAY. 2. PROPERLY FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION, TEACHERS’ SALARIES and CAREER TECHNICAL TRAINING

Ellen B Spencer: I want to propose bills on matters citizens have asked for, and on matters that directly improve Idaho citizens lives, including: Create a property tax structure equitable for all constituencies that doesn’t put the burden on one area alone. Create an educational system that will prepare students for careers and a future, and that will lift Idaho from the bottom 10 percent in the country. Develop processes that provide more transparency and accountability of our legislators.

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

C Scott Grow: In the Senate I serve as the Vice Chair — Local Government & Taxation Committee; member of the Joint Finance & Appropriations Committee; and the Judiciary & Rules Committee. Experience in Idaho State revenue forecasting, budget review and finalization for all State departments. 30 years’ experience as a small business owner, CPA and income tax expert. Idaho and National Tax Committees for CPAs. Previously served two terms as West Ada School Board Trustee and on the Idaho School Boards Assn.

Ellen B Spencer: I have experience in law, insurance, finance, and as a Risk Manager of community college In Idaho. I viewed situations from a variety of perspectives in order to identify and mitigate obstacles and issues that could adversely affect the college community, financially, operationally, and reputationally. I worked with multiple constituencies to solve problems collaboratively, and develop policies and procedures that are still utilized throughout the college.

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

C Scott Grow: The Idaho Constitution requires the State to provide a comparable public school education for Idaho students. Some school districts receive more dollars per student than others. The West Ada District receives less state funding per student than most districts in the State.

It also has some of the highest bonded indebtedness due to the construction of new buildings. RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TAXES ARE EXCESSIVE. I will work TO DECREASE PROPERTY TAXES and to PROPERLY FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION.

Ellen B Spencer: Currently, funding for Idaho’s schools is subject to the whims of individuals, in addition to the economy. I will support a dedicated and impervious funding source, part of a tax-restructuring project necessary in Idaho. It will support an affordable career ladder for teachers by looking to successful models in other states that values educators and helps educator retention; create a reasonable tax incentive and fund industry-specific programs in higher education.

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

C Scott Grow: Our prison population exceeds prison capacity. We are currently sending hundreds of Idaho prisoners to out-of-state facilities. This last year alone that cost Idahoans more than $40 million. For that same annual cost, we could construct and maintain permanent facilities for non-violent and white-collar prisoners and keep our prisoners in Idaho. Also, we need to involve more low risk prisoners in work release programs, preparing them for re-entry into society.

Ellen B Spencer: I think the larger issue and more important need is to research the reasons Idaho has such a large prison population compared to the state’s size and general population. However, it’s clear we need more space in our prisons in order to keep Idahoans in state. True rehabilitation programs while people are incarcerated are vital to incorporate in prisons as this makes a huge difference in recidivism.

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

C Scott Grow: The COVID-19 Pandemic has placed an enormous burden upon our hospitals and health care givers. We must make sure that we are providing the logistical support that they need in order to protect our health and to avoid a second wave of the virus. We need to increase the number of medical students from Idaho enrolled in the Washington and Utah medical schools. We also need more residency positions in Idaho to train interns. We must expand telehealth efforts to reach all citizens.

Ellen B Spencer: Idaho continues to rank low in all healthcare rankings in the country due to limited medical higher education and the lack of facilities and qualified personnel. As Idaho’s general population trends towards retirees and older persons, this will become more critical. Creating a dedicated medical graduate school in Idaho with internships with emphasis on working in rural areas would enable Idaho to grow its healthcare opportunities. This speaks directly to the need to improve our education system.

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

C Scott Grow: Idahoans carry one of the highest tax burdens in the western states. Residential property taxes have been increasing at an exorbitant rate. Those taxes in Ada County increased nearly 40% in the last two years. Older citizens on fixed incomes are particularly hurt. I serve on a statewide legislative committee to find solutions. In that committee, I am promoting innovative ways to decrease our residential property tax burden. I will sponsor legislation to implement these changes.

Ellen B Spencer: I support elimination of the grocery tax, and clothing items, life necessities that are essential goods for quality of living, health and well-being. I will look at property tax policies that are equitable to all constituents: businesses and corporations, agriculture, and homeowners. I will look into eliminating a number of tax exemptions from corporate and business, especially out-of-state businesses, and special interests. I will develop an income tax rate that will sustain quality services.

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

C Scott Grow: The Idaho Secretary of State is in charge of the voting process statewide. The county clerks and election officials are responsible to protect and count the votes. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Idaho primary election was entirely by absentee ballot. In the special legislative session, we passed legislation to insure that Idaho citizens will be able to vote in person at their normal polling locations and to assure that absentee ballots will be safeguarded and properly counted.

Ellen B Spencer: I support continuing the option to apply for an absentee ballot online. Our current situation demonstrates that Idaho has the capability to do so. I support a vote-by-mail system, that will allow all Idahoans to exercise their constitutional right, regardless of their circumstances. Taking these steps would reduce election cost and increase voter participation. Our legislature does not agree, and I do not believe their position was taken with the best interest of Idaho voters in mind.

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?

C Scott Grow: Traffic congestion is a problem, particularly in western Ada County. We need to widen Chinden Blvd and Highway 44 all the way to the Canyon County border. We also need to extend Highway 16 from Chinden to the freeway, which will help alleviate traffic congestion on Eagle Rd. I will support legislation to fund those projects. When possible, we need to have major businesses assist with the construction of needed infrastructure. COSTCO is doing that around their new Meridian building.

Ellen B Spencer: Idaho’s aging road infrastructure can’t handle the increasing volume of traffic. Many of these roads, highways and bridges need rebuilding and upgrading. Creating a Dept. of Transportation allows access to federal funds and resources for comprehensive short and long-range planning. Restructuring Highway Districts, and factoring in a tax adjustment has been done successfully in other states. Creating this department will be an economical advantage for businesses, employment, and connectivity.

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

C Scott Grow: Local option sales taxes place additional financial burdens upon our citizens. I do not support giving that authority to all cities and counties. With the high unemployment we are experiencing, now is certainly not the time to add additional taxes on our residents. In the future, there may be certain instances where such authorization might make sense. I would have to carefully evaluate each specific proposal before I could support giving the additional taxing authority in that situation.

Ellen B Spencer: I do support a local option tax authority for all cities and counties. Each of these entities has a unique environment with different infrastructure and operational needs. I believe local control is always better, as local leaders and citizens know best what is required. Citizens have more of a direct say in which projects get completed, and whether an additional tax is necessary.

Idaho State House District 14 A

Cindy Currie

Cindy Currie

Name: Cindy Currie

  • Party: Ind
  • Mailing Address: Eagle, 83616
  • Campaign Phone: (208) 866-6388
  • Website: votecurrie.com
  • Facebook page: Cindy Currie House Representative District 14
  • Twitter: @VoteCurrie
Mike Moyle mug

Mike Moyle

Name: Mike Moyle

  • Party: Rep
  • Incumbent
  • Mailing Address: Star, 83669

Questions:

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

Cindy Currie: Early-childhood education: start teaching when kids start learning. Education that is career-oriented, developing a workforce ready and trained for Idaho. Smart-growth planning, that anticipates changes in population, transportation and infrastructure needs. Removal of the unfair tax burden on Cities and Counties, distribution of internet sales tax, moderation of tax exemptions and, alleviate bond and levy burden. A livable wage for all: with money going back into Idaho’s economy.

Mike Moyle: Did not submit a survey response.

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

Cindy Currie: With 30 years’ experience as an educator, I will bring a unique perspective to the table. That perseverance and dedication will make a good state representative. I come from humble beginnings and put myself through school, so I understand the interest of many people in this state. Every day I work with kids to foster team building, creative thinking and problem solving. This experience has prepared me to build relationships and has taught me how to communicate across the aisle.

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

Cindy Currie: Increase per pupil state funding Provide early childhood education which allows all kids to enter Kindergarten on an even playing field and directs kids to success both socially and academically. Provide a uniform salary for teachers and educational resources to every district in the state. Ensure that every high school student graduates with some type of career choice or path: certification, vocational training, affordable junior college, or a 4 year college.

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

Cindy Currie: In 2019, 35% of Idaho incarcerations were drug related. Provide treatment options for those battling addiction. One of the most important things for felons reintegrating into society, is the ability to hold a steady job. A stable source of income can change that person’s life, and potentially keep them from going back to prison. Reform and educate while in prison to improve themselves and give them a sense of purpose. In states with pre-k education there are less incarcerated individuals

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

Cindy Currie: Access to healthcare in rural areas. A shortage of health professionals. The rising cost of healthcare. Provide state support for rural areas with money and/or tax incentives. Encourage STEM education and careers with a payback inducement and incentives for quality personnel. It is projected that there will be 49,000 unfilled jobs by 2024, 36,000 of them in STEM. We need to defend and expand Medicare and ensure that healthcare is accessible for everyone in Idaho.

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

Cindy Currie: Reverse HB-463 which significantly shifted general tax revenue from corporations, agriculture & everyone equitably, now to mainly property owners. Earmark current internet sales tax to funnel through distribution formula for cities and counties. Support cities and counties to be able to charge and keep impact fees from growth for transportation and schools. Support a complete examination of all sales tax exemptions and eliminate any exemptions that are not fiscally beneficial to the state.

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

Cindy Currie: I would like to see voting available for multiple days in November. Make it easier to request and obtain absentee ballots on line without having to print a form to mail in. Register the 18 year old seniors at the High Schools in their Government classes. Stop purging people who have not voted in 2 cycles. Adopt an ‘automatic vote by mail’ option similar to Oregon, Washington and Utah. Registration for an ID card or drivers license would be automatic voter registration.

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?

Cindy Currie: Replace and/or repair the many deteriorating; roads, bridges and highways in Idaho, as well investing in improvement for growth. Use statistical data and analyze the areas of increased growth in Idaho. Look at the commute, the streets, and alternative transportation options to anticipate and prepare for present and future growth. Ultimately the state is responsible for funding transportation. But, funding should be in conjunction with: impact fees, city and county bonds, and federal sources.

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

Cindy Currie: Yes, especially cities and counties that have had enormous growth. Denser populations in smaller geographic areas have an increased demand for roads, schools, and for public safety. Right now there is an unfair tax burden on those cities and counties because the state has not allowed a local option sales tax. Consequently, property owners have unfairly been burdened with these costs through bonds and levies attached to our property taxes, to compensate for the lack of funding.

Idaho State House District 14 B

Shelley Brock

Shelley Brock

Name: Shelley Brock

  • Party: Dem
  • Mailing Address: Eagle, 83616
  • Campaign Phone: (208) 559-6127
  • Website: sbrock4idaho.wixsite.com
  • Facebook: ShelleyBrockforidaho
DeMordaunt4280

DeMordaunt

Name: Gayann DeMordaunt

  • Party: Rep
  • Incumbent
  • Mailing Address: Eagle, 83616

Questions:

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

Shelley Brock: I will champion Idahoans’ fierce independence and staunch defense of our Constitutional freedoms, property rights, the health and safety of our families and our most precious natural resources – our water and public lands – now and for future generations. I will work to ensure that access to healthcare, a living wage, property tax relief, quality education and managing growth don’t depend on laws written in a back room by a handful of people heavily influenced by lobbyists.

Gayann DeMordaunt: Did not submit a survey response.

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

Shelley Brock: As a 45 year D14 resident, medical professional, grandmother and community justice advocate, I have been a leading voice for the protection of Idahoans and their property from the negative impacts of irresponsible oil and gas drilling and other polluting industries operating too close to our homes, schools and rivers. I worked across party lines with local and state officials to protect civil and property rights, property values, the air we breathe and water we drink, recreate, and grow food in.

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

Shelley Brock: Our legislature abdicates responsibility by forcing schools to depend on supplemental bonds and levies-creating inequity/unfair burden on property taxes. I’ll carry what some districts are doing to raise test scores/reduce dropout rates to other districts, with funding necessary to implement them. I’ll draft legislation to allow collection of impact fees from development to fund new schools/infrastructure. This will relieve our property tax burden while providing safe schools throughout Idaho.

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

Shelley Brock: Prison overcrowding separates inmates from their families; sending Idaho tax dollars to other states. More than 1/3 of prisoners are incarcerated for drug offenses; we must increase drug treatment, drug courts and sentencing options. Up to 60% of nation’s inmates are illiterate and literacy levels directly correlate to the likelihood a person will become involved with criminal activities. This enhances need to increase funding to schools, particularly in reading intervention in primary grades.

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

Shelley Brock: Everyone deserves affordable healthcare. As a surgical tech I see firsthand the tragic consequences of patients forced to delay/forego treatment because they lack resources to seek timely intervention. Idaho voters approved Medicaid expansion through citizen-led initiative. I have seen lives saved and quality of life restored for people who’ve benefited directly from that action. Our lawmakers need to do more to protect Idahoans. Injury or illness shouldn’t bankrupt families and the taxpayers.

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

Shelley Brock: I support abolishing sales tax on groceries; it unfairly burdens low-income families. I’ll lower property taxes by allowing school districts to collect impact fees from new development, taking the burden from school bonds and levies. New development should pay for itself and this is the most equitable means for doing so. I’ll analyze the tax code to show all existing credits and “loopholes” and eliminate recent tax cuts for major corporations. I’ll support Local Option Taxes for municipalities.

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

Shelley Brock: Like LWV, I want our elections to remain free, fair and accessible. I’ll advocate for vote-by-mail on a permanent basis to raise voter participation and keep citizens safe. I support proportional representation from each party to avoid gerrymandering, and local races remaining non-partisan. I’m a huge proponent of high school registration. It is crucial for engaging/empowering young people — especially of color — to vote and become active participants in democracy. Their voices need to be heard.

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?

Shelley Brock: Idaho has two conflicting, critical transportation needs, including: providing for growth in our cities, and repairing/replacing aging infrastructure. The 2018 Report Card for Idaho Infrastructure states need for over $2B to ensure the safety and performance of Idaho’s bridges and $3.6B more for roads. I’ll propose an increase in the fuel tax, development impact fees and revenue based on truck weight. New revenue will also be generated when the tax credits for major corporations are eliminated.

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

Shelley Brock: Yes, Idaho code currently allows for only a few resort cities to collect local option sales tax. This is state overreach and limits municipalities’ ability to generate funds for their own infrastructure needs. Voters should be allowed to determine tax initiatives in their own jurisdictions.

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