Friday, October 31, 2014

District 26 House Seat A

Q & A

Steve Miller (I)

Age: 64 

Occupation: Small-business man, organic farmer, rancher.

Previous experience in public office: 36 years on the Camas Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors, 15-plus years Camas County Planning & Zoning, six years Camas County commissioner, four years National Association of Conservation Districts Executive Board, two years United States Department of Agriculture Organic Advisory Board, two years National Association of Conservation Districts Secretary-Treasurer, two years president of the Idaho Association of Conservation Districts, two years Camas County representative on Region IV Economic Development, two years            Idaho House of Representatives.

Why are you running?

Idahoans face challenges including the economy, water, healthcare and education. With my work experience and 36 years of public service, I have the knowledge and experience to influence beneficial policy and continue work expanding the economy, funding education, preserving Idaho’s water and reducing healthcare costs.


What is the best, most efficient way to strengthen Idaho’s economy?               

For a strong Idaho economy, businesses (retail, farming, tourism, manufacturing, hospitality, ranching, food service, dairy) must have an economic environment conducive to success and an appropriately educated work force. Collaboration among stakeholders—elected officials, business owners and educators—and reasonable regulations will strengthen Idaho’s economy.


Would you vote to further increase educational funding? Why or why not?

I have and will. As a member of JFAC, I have successfully carried education funding to the floor and will continue to work for effective state funding.  Education not only impacts a student’s future, it contributes to the long-term improvement of Idaho’s economy and communities.   


What is the biggest problem for District 26-A and how would you work to fix it?

Water is our biggest problem and future challenge.  Water universally impacts all residents as well as our economic base—business, dairies, resorts, farms, ranches. The solution will involve equitable settlement of existing rights, aquifer recharge, increased water storage and protecting Idaho’s water from outside interests. 


What should the state’s role be, when it comes to healthcare for Idahoans?

Legislature develops policy. The policy discussion should move from paying for healthcare to reducing healthcare costs. We must devise a self-sustaining program less dependent on federal funding.  Healthcare should be incentivized to maintain wellness, not treat symptoms after it is too late and more costly.


Do you support the $400,000 allocated to the Wolf Depredation Board?

Yes. The USFW, not Idahoans, introduced the non-indigenous, aggressive Canadian timber wolf to Idaho.  They promised to control population, but reneged.  These wolves are an invasive species with no natural predator. Without control (by non-lethal/lethal means), our ecosystem balance will not be sustainable. 


Richard D. Fosbury

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired civil engineer.

Previous experience in public office: None.

Why are you running?

After many years of civic service, I believe I can contribute creative solutions to raise our standard of living.


What is the best, most efficient way to strengthen Idaho's economy?

Our economy will be stronger with consistent policies and funding by the Legislature, and with an educated and well-trained workforce. An educated, well-trained workforce has the ability to earn higher wages, raise the standard of living, and generate higher income tax revenues to the state.


Would you vote to further increase educational funding? Why or why not?

Yes, we need to support education by implementing and funding the Education Task Force recommendations as soon as possible. We need to improve pre-schooling opportunities, high school graduation rates, lower college tuitions, and add vocational training. We need an educated, well-trained workforce.


What is the biggest problem for District 26-A and how would you work to fix it?

District 26-A has had a weak recovery from the recession, with many commercial vacancies. One way to recover is to support existing businesses. New small enterprises will produce the most jobs. I can expand the incubator model with mentoring throughout the district.


What should the state’s role be, when it comes to healthcare for Idahoans?

The state needs to take responsibility for policy so that care is affordable and accessible to everyone, including those in the Medicaid gap. It is not acceptable to push indigent health care costs onto counties, while ignoring mental health care.


Do you support the $400,000 allocated to the Wolf Depredation Board?

No, the Wolf Depredation Board is too bureaucratic. In the legislation, the program is housed under the governor’s office, the monies collected go to the Department of Agriculture, not Fish & Game, which manages the program. We need these funds in education and highways.

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