Idaho Is Already Great - Let's Keep It That Way!

My Democrat opponent Steve Berch sends out mailers and letters painting a tale of woe about education and the economy; however, such is simply not the case. Statistics reveal a strong education system and vibrant economy in Idaho. My opponent makes sweeping promises for change, but does not say specifically what he proposes, how it will be paid for, or how it affects your freedom from burdensome government regulations. Things are going well in Idaho.  Here are some facts:

On education, contrary to frequently heard negative narratives, statistics from NEA and other 2017 reports show a strong committment in Idaho to education and productive use of the money we spend.  Among the 50 states:

  • Idaho ranks 3rd in the percentage of state revenue spent on K-12 education.
  • Idaho is 48th in reliance on local spending for education (other states rely more on local taxes)
  • Idaho ranked 1st in year to year teacher pay increases 
  • Idaho ranked 2nd in year over year increase in instructional staff
  • Idaho ranked 5th for college readiness based on 2017 SAT and ACT benchmark scores.

On the economy, Idaho continues to be ranked highly for economic growth and fiscal preparedness:

  • Idaho ranks 2nd in year over year job growth - US Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Idaho ranks 5th lowest for unemployment rates - US Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Idaho ranks 6th lowest for poverty rates - US Census Bureau 
  • Idaho ranks 6th in rainy day funds – Pew Trust
  • Idaho ranks 9th in fiscal health based on its fiscal solvency in five separate categories – Mercatus Center

Regarding public safety, Idaho was recently ranked 5th safest state in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. We have a challenge with recent growth in the prison population. Because of my experience, I hold key positions in keeping Idaho safe while addressing the best ways to address prison challenges and costs. As Chair of the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee, and Co-chair of the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Oversight Committee I am actively engaged in evaluating the causes and potential solutions of prison growth while at the same time keeping Idaho safe. My opponent brings none of that experience to the table.

We live in a wonderful state with wonderful people who love freedom and fiscal responsibility. Things are positive, and I am committed to meeting the challenges we do have by being smart and responsible with your money while keeping government in its place.