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Polling booths at the Karcher Church of the Nazarene on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Nampa. The state will move to all-absentee voting for the May 19 primary election because of the coronavirus outbreak, the governor’s office and secretary of state confirmed Monday, March 30.

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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 22

Sen. Lori Den Hartog

Sen. Lori Den Hartog

Name: Lori Den Hartog

Mik Lose

District 22 Senate candidate Mik Lose walks in the 2018 Kuna Days parade with his daughter on his shoulders.

Name: Mik Lose

  • Party: Dem
  • Mailing Address: Kuna, 83634

Questions:

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

Lori Den Hartog: 1) Expand student-focused school choice initiatives that would allow parents and students to direct education dollars to meet their specific needs and circumstances, 2) Modernize the public school education funding formula to tie funding to actual student needs and learning outcomes, to more equitability distribute funds to local districts, and to create more transparency, and 3) Reform emergency declaration policies and to restore the balance of power between the branches of government.

Mik Lose: Did not submit a survey response. 

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

Lori Den Hartog: Throughout my six years in the Legislature, I have demonstrated an ability to effectively navigate the legislative process and pass legislation that benefits the people of District 22 and of Idaho.

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

Lori Den Hartog: I support modernizing the funding of public education in order to more closely align the distribution of funds with student needs and learning outcomes. Idaho relies on an outdated (26 year old) resource based allocation model which focuses on the system and not the students. Updating how the state allocates our education dollars would create a structure more focused on the individual learning needs of our students, while providing greater transparency and more flexibility at the local level.

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

Lori Den Hartog: I support increased funding for more parole officers and increased services when people are released from prison in order to reduce recidivism. I support changes to mandatory minimum sentence requirements in order to allow judges judicial discretion when determining the appropriate length and terms of prison sentences.

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

Lori Den Hartog: I believe we need greater access to care in rural Idaho. I support reducing and modernizing regulations in order to allow for more health care providers to enter into the rural markets. Increasing medical residencies in rural Idaho will also help attract and retain physicians to different parts of the state. I also support increased access to telehealth and greater transparency in pricing for patients.

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

Lori Den Hartog: I support repealing the sales tax on food because I believe it would immediately benefit all Idaho families. I also support a reduction of income taxes and a reform of property taxes in order to provide relief to homeowners, particularly those on fixed incomes.

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

Lori Den Hartog: I would support allowing vote centers, similar to how early voting is conducted, in addition to regular polling locations.

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?

Lori Den Hartog: The biggest transportation priority for Idaho is working to ensure a long-term, stable, and diversified funding structure to meet our growing transportation needs. While the Board of the Idaho Transportation Department sets the priorities for individual projects across the state, the Legislature's role is to provide adequate funding to meet those needs. Creative funding solutions could include utilizing the state's rainy day funds to earn interest and use the interest as a source of funds.

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

Lori Den Hartog: No. Cities and counties already have the ability to go to the voters to request bonding authority for the construction of some public projects.


Idaho State House District 22 A

Name: Diane Jensen

Rep. John Vander Woude

Rep. John Vander Woude

Name: John Vander Woude

  • Party: Rep
  • Incumbent
  • Mailing Address: Nampa, 83687
  • Website: vanderwoudeforidaho.com
  • Facebook page: John Vander Woude for Idaho

Questions:

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

Diane Jensen: Finding relief for property taxes with new sources of revenue for education and health care . Education and health care in Idaho are in crisis. Since 2008 Idaho’s educational system has ranked dead last in the nation due to changes in the tax structure funding education. It is time to return education funding to the general funding system that was abolished in 2008, which will provide relief to Idaho property owners.

John Vander Woude: My top priority next session will again be finding property tax relief for my constituents. With the unprecedented growth our district has experienced, property tax has skyrocketed, making home prices unaffordable for many of my constituents. Some are even being priced out of their homes they’ve held for decades.

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

Diane Jensen: I have spent a lifetime involved in civic service. My activities have included PTA, scouting, and other community services. I am particularly proud of my two years as a Vista Volunteer of America where I provided social and financial services to women. I have experience working for Probation and Parole and 4th District Court. 30 years in banking specializing in Rick Management. I have lobbied and testified at the legislature over the past 30 years.

John Vander Woude: During my time serving in the Idaho House of Representatives, I have held various leadership positions. Currently, I am the Chair of the House Environment, Energy, & Technology Committee. I am a self-employed small business owner and farmer and I have lived in the District for 40 years. I’m also a U.S. Army Veteran and an active community and church member, including 16 years of service on the Nampa Christian School Board.

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

Diane Jensen: It is time to return education funding to the general funding system that was abolished in 2008, which will provide relief to Idaho property owners. I would support finding new revenue sources to provide the necessary funding for our public schools. The legislature doesn't take advantage of federal funds that are available to the state. If there is cuts to the budget our schools are the first to be cut.

John Vander Woude: I will support legislation that provides for more freedom for schools to use their funding as they see fit without strings attached by the state. We also need to alter the way we are funding schools. The money should follow the child, rather than being allocated to classrooms without regard to the actual needs of students

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

Diane Jensen: Our judicial system needs to focus more on education, job training programs, drug and alcohol rehab to give them confidence in maintaining a productive life after prison.

John Vander Woude: Idaho has a high recidivism rate, meaning that too many people return to prison after serving their initial sentence. Prior to their release, inmates should receive training to boost job skills so they are ready to enter the workforce, secure a job to provide for themselves, and not fall into the same habits that landed them in jail.

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

Diane Jensen: The failure of the legislature to enact the Medicaid Expansion as passed by the people of the State and to waste tax payers money by having to defend waivers that are not necessary. Idaho has a shortage of Medical staff in our state and especially in rural areas. There are programs that repay student loans for medical personal who work in rural areas that the state could pursue.

John Vander Woude: Idaho has a severe shortage of doctors in general, but especially in the rural parts of our state. With the aging population we have in rural Idaho, we need to incentivize doctors to practice where they are most needed.

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

Diane Jensen: Sales tax, corporate taxes, and individual taxes need to be evaluated and adjusted in order to meet the needs of Idaho’s rapid growth. Additionally, we must seek new sources of state revenue, such as agricultural cash crops that would benefit farmers as well as encourage small businesses. This would strengthen our economy while providing property tax relief to homeowners. Additionally, the Idaho legislature has refused to take advantage of millions of dollars of federal matching funds.

John Vander Woude: As I mentioned above, property taxes in Idaho need a huge overhaul. In addition, we should always seek opportunities to lower all taxes, including income, sales, and property taxes, by reducing government spending. The Legislature should also routinely review all sales tax exemptions to make sure the intended benefit has actually been realized.

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

Diane Jensen: After living in Oregon for 25 years and working with and voting Mail-in-voting or Absentee ballots I know how secure and easy it is to cast your ballot. These ballots are safer for the voter and the poll worker. Ballots are only sent out to registered voters and each one is bar coded with that person’s information. These envelopes can’t be forwarded to another address or used by anyone else. Each return ballot envelope must be signed on the outside of the envelope.

John Vander Woude: Idaho has a very efficient and sound voting process, so I do not support any changes at this moment.

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?

Diane Jensen: The state must find other revenues to fund transportation. We need better mass transit operations for the Treasure valley commuters. There needs to be better planning for the future, so they don’t go back in a few months and tear it all up and waste money they could use on other projects.

John Vander Woude: Idaho must figure out other revenue sources, besides the gas tax, to fund roads. Maintaining existing infrastructure and building new roads is a necessary function of government, but with the increase in vehicle efficiency, gas tax no longer adequately funds our responsibilities.

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

Diane Jensen: No, The legislature needs to find other revenues to fund transportation than the gas tax.

John Vander Woude: No, I don’t support any measure that would add additional tax burdens to Idahoans.


Idaho State House District 22 B

Jason A Monks.jpg

Jason Monks

Name: Jason A Monks

  • Party: Rep
  • Incumbent
  • Mailing Address: Meridian, 83687
  • Website: monksforidaho.com
  • Facebook page: Jason Monks for Idaho
Nina Turner

Nina Turner

Name: Nina Turner

  • Party: Dem
  • Mailing Address: Kuna, 83634
  • Campaign Website: Nina4Idaho.wordpress.com
  • Campaign Facebook:facebook.com/Nina4IdahoD22b
  • Campaign Twitter: @Nina4IdahoD22b

Questions:

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

Jason A Monks: The greatest accomplishment that I could achieve as a legislator would be to have my family, friends, neighbors, the people of District 22, and the entire state of Idaho proud of my service. I will consider my legislative career a failure regardless of what bills I get passed if I don’t serve with honesty and integrity.

Nina Turner: Equitable legal protections for every individual. Initiate difficult conversations and challenge the perception of “radical” policies that could benefit the people of Idaho. Protect Idaho’s land and people instead of catering to business interests. Focus on long-range planning to achieve long-term goals. Ensure livable conditions for all people within our borders, despite bureaucratic and political failures of the federal government.

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

Jason A Monks: As an adult, I have worked in the construction industry, the high-tech corporate world, and I am currently a small business owner. I have coached more than 30 different sports teams and I have volunteered for my church and community for years. I am a husband and a father to 8 kids, 4 of which are adopted. These experiences have allowed me to gain a deep understanding of how different sectors of our state work and have also contributed to me becoming the Idaho House Assistant Majority Leader.

Nina Turner: As a massage therapist for over a decade, and from previous retail and office work, I developed analytical and critical thinking skills in addition to active listening and relationship building through client interaction and continuing education courses. Focused on scientific integrity and true morality, I strive for practical progress each day toward a more informed, harmonious, and thriving community.

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

Jason A Monks: I would like to see the school funding formula changed. Our current system is classroom-based system. A lot of work has been put into changing the current system to a student-based system. This change would allow money to be appropriated based on the number of students and their specific needs, rather than basing it on the number of classrooms. Money needs to completely follow the children and parents should have the freedom to choose the school system that is best for their child.

Nina Turner: Idaho has a high percentage of children in the population, and we cannot justify cutting this budget as we are already at the bottom in per capita spending. We need to get school systems and teachers the funding that they need to develop each student to their full individual potential.

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

Jason A Monks: The problem with Idaho’s prison system is sadly a reflection of current issues impacting our society as a whole. One of the reasons our prisons are overcrowded is because of the breakdown of the family unit. A child’s home environment is the most important indicator of whether or not a child will end up incarcerated. If we want to keep our prisons from being overcrowded, we need to recognize the importance of children being raised in a loving home and having positive role models in their lives.

Nina Turner: We need to release non-violent offenders to deal with the issue of overcrowding, not increase spending for new facilities and staff. I am continuing to study issues related to the criminal justice system.

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

Jason A Monks: America’s healthcare system is still the envy of the world. However, the more governmental influence there is on our system, the worse it becomes. For example, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, required an additional 2.3% excise tax on all medical equipment. Raising the cost of medical equipment, such as ventilators, reduces the supply. Reducing and eliminating governmental rules and regulations associated with healthcare will reduce the cost and increase the quality and quantity available.

Nina Turner: I realize that health insurance is no guarantee of financially accessible healthcare, even for those without pre-existing conditions. I support any reasonably fair measure that lowers the barrier to each individual obtaining the medical, dental, vision, and mental healthcare they need. I support Medicaid Expansion in our state as a bare minimum, and fully support the national movement for Medicare for All, or a more encompassing version of universal healthcare.

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

Jason A Monks: I would like to see the elimination of all property taxes or a significant reduction in the total amount of money collected from property taxes. Property taxes are a leftover vestige of the feudal system. Today, we are still required to pay tribute to the government, or we risk losing our land. As long as we are required to pay property taxes, we can never truly own land. I would prefer to see property taxes shifted to a consumption tax or a hybrid of increased income and sales tax.

Nina Turner: Everyday Idahoans are the more important stakeholders in our economy and who we are elected to represent, and Idaho’s revenue continues to suffer from low wages. First, remove the grocery sales tax. Second, I would support counties having the authority to waive residential and agricultural property tax, for only those owners who reside on the property and whose AGI is $50k or less. Third, I would support raising the poverty level to $30k AGI, and beginning taxable income at the $50k level.

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

Jason A Monks: I would like to require that in order to vote, you must provide identification. Currently in Idaho, you do not have to show identification to vote; you simply sign to affirm that you are who you say you are. Identification is required for just about everything else. Voting is one of the most important privileges we have and the process should be secure. I would also like to see Idaho enforce our constitution when it comes to voting in the proper location.

Nina Turner: I support increasing civic participation and returning control of government to citizens via ranked choice voting, continued absentee/mail-in voting, voting holidays, and increased use of single issue ballot initiatives. I also support term limits, quarterly constituent surveys and town halls, state-funded campaigns and an end to donations, ending lobbying, and potential shortening of the election season itself.

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?

Jason A Monks: We need an alternative way to fund our growing transportation needs. Our current system relies on fuel taxes which is considered a “dying tax”. The amount of gasoline purchased in Idaho has slightly increased while the number of vehicles on the roads and the number of miles driven has dramatically increased. Cars are becoming more efficient and the number of electric vehicles in Idaho is increasing. I think the best system to fund transportation in the future will be a user-based system.

Nina Turner: Commercially used transportation infrastructure must be maintained and upgraded where necessary for interstate commerce. Personal transportation priorities will depend upon the pattern of residential development allowed to occur during this time period, but we will need to end Idaho's dependence on 'proven need' before transportation projects are initiated in an area where rezoning for more development has already been approved. I am in favor of expanding public transportation options.

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

Jason A Monks: I support local government’s ability to explore various funding options for specific projects. However, it is critical that sufficient sideboards are in place to ensure that larger communities can’t override the will and needs of the smaller communities. For example, I would not support a new taxing district covering multiple communities such as Meridian and Kuna that would allow the larger population of Meridian to force a tax on Kuna.

Nina Turner: Yes.

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