Priorities for District 1

Steve Johnson, write-in candidate for Idaho State Senate, District 1 — Write–in against Scott Herndon

Doing real work for the real issues North Idahoans face

My Priorities for District 1

The top 3 priorities I will focus on when you elect me as your Idaho State Senator are:

 

1. Reducing your property taxes

My top priority when I’m elected to the Idaho State Senate will be to cut your property taxes. Currently, the homeowners’ exemption is $125,000, which is not in line with our increasing home prices. I’ll work to double that exemption to $250,000, so we Idahoans can afford to stay in the homes we worked so hard for. This is one example of a real issue that we all face, which I will work to resolve as your State Senator. 

 

2. Supporting quality education

While my opponent Scott Herndon supports pulling money out of public education, I support funding education in Idaho to build a better economy, and support Idahoans in having the quality of life we all want for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.

The passage of the recent legislation in the Legislature’s special session puts more than $400 million towards public education in Idaho. This is a huge victory for our entire state. Where and how that money gets spent, however, will still be up for debate. When I’m elected to the Idaho State Senate, I will work to ensure that money gets spent wisely on top priorities that benefit all of North Idaho’s students. We need to bring our education up to the standards that are necessary to produce an educated workforce ready to work in today’s trades, healthcare, and technology fields here, in Idaho.

 

3. Preserving our rural lifestyle

In the last ten years, the population of Bonner and Boundary Counties has grown by a whopping 21%. 

Growth may be unavoidable, but it cannot happen at the cost of our way of life. As your State Senator, I will fight to preserve our open spaces, rural lifestyle, and access to public lands, rather than plan to sell off those lands, as Scott Herndon has proposed

Read on for more details about my solutions for my top priorities, and my positions on other issues, so you can see how I will represent you as your State Senator.

Why I’m Running

Lowering Your Property Taxes

Fixing North Idaho Infrastructure

Solutions for my priorities, and other positions

 

Property Tax Relief

My family has owned our farm in Sagle since 1957. I’ve watched as property taxes have gone up over the years. But with the steep increase in property values in recent years, many people’s property taxes are becoming unaffordable. 

In the last year alone, property prices have gone up more than 18 percent in Boundary County and almost 12 percent in Bonner County.

But the homeowner’s exemption tops out at $125,000. That’s just not inline with how much property values have increased.

When I’m elected to the Idaho State Senate, I will vote to double the homeowner’s exemption to $250,000, so we Idahoans can stay in the homes we worked so hard for. This is an example of how I will fight for you, and for the issues we face every day.

 

Education

I support quality public education. Without a proper education, people are more likely to use public assistance, more likely to end up part of the prison system, and far more likely to be trapped in poverty.

Quality education includes technical and trades training to ensure that every kid graduating from an Idaho high school has the opportunity to get a high paying job IN IDAHO – without having to leave the state.

The passage of the recent legislation in the Legislature’s special session puts more than $400 million towards public education in Idaho. This is a huge victory for our entire state. Where and how that money gets spent, however, will still be up for debate. When I’m elected to the Idaho State Senate, I will work to ensure that money gets spent wisely on top priorities that benefit all of North Idaho’s students. We need to bring our education up to the standards that are required to produce an educated workforce ready to work in today’s trades, healthcare, and technology fields here, in Idaho.

While my opponent Scott Herndon supports pulling money out of public education, I support funding education in Idaho to build a better economy, and support Idahoans in having the quality of life we all want for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.

 

Preserving Our Rural Lifestyle with Responsible Growth

In the last ten years, the population of Bonner and Boundary Counties has grown by a whopping 21%. 

Suddenly, we have rush hour traffic and “HELP WANTED” signs everywhere – and not enough workers to fill those jobs. Why? Because people can’t afford to move here, and young people who were raised here can’t afford to live here.

Growth may be unavoidable, but it cannot happen at the cost of our way of life. Whereas Scott Herndon supports selling off our public lands as the solution, I believe our public lands and wildlife access need to be protected. 

When I’m elected to the Idaho State Senate, I will work to establish a state-wide incentive program to encourage responsible growth that preserves our open spaces, rural lifestyle, and access to public lands. 

This incentive program would establish benchmarks for communities to meet (for example, developing a comprehensive plan for their county or city, showing they have a plan to maintain open spaces and access to public lands, etc.). Once the established benchmarks are met, those communities will have access to state dollars to make sure their growth is planned, sensible, and does not negatively affect their communities’ quality of life. 

The state dollars would help pay for things like:

  • Research on the impact of developer fees to pay for infrastructure
  • Studies to make sure utilities – sewer, water, trash pickup, etc. – can absorb the new residents and businesses
  • Help estimating how much it will cost to bring broadband to both existing and new homes and businesses
  • Traffic studies to make sure new neighborhoods and business aren’t going to cause traffic jams everywhere

Idaho has been the fastest-growing state in the US for the last five years. There’s no sign of it slowing down. When I’m elected to the Idaho State Senate, I will work to make sure  growth is planned right so it doesn’t ruin the quality of life for those of us who already live here.

 

Potholes, Roads, and Infrastructure

Have you noticed that the potholes in North Idaho have gotten much worse over the past few years?

In fact, our roads are so bad that you, as a taxpaying citizen of Idaho, pay on average $427 per year in car repairs caused by our bad roads. Yet Idaho had a budget surplus of $1.3 billion last year.

You are already paying these taxes, and that money should be used here in North Idaho to fix our roads.

When I’m elected to the Idaho State Senate, I will make it a top priority to bring our tax dollars back from Boise to fix potholes, roads, and bridges.

 

Abortion

Idaho’s “Trigger Law”, which is now in effect, makes exceptions for victims of rape, incest (if reported to the police), and for the life of the mother. It also allows a pregnant patient to receive medical care even if there is a risk to a fetus. So if a patient has cancer, and is pregnant, she can still be treated for that cancer, even if it risks her pregnancy. 

My opponent Scott Herndon has written a bill that states if a pregnancy endangers a pregnant woman’s or pregnant child’s life, doctors must let the mother die, rather than end the pregnancy, even when there’s no chance the child could be saved. If elected, Herndon would work to change the law so that mothers would be charged with murder, and the doctors who perform life-saving medical interventions on their patients would also be charged with murder.

Let me repeat that for you: Scott Herndon believes that if a pregnancy endangers a pregnant woman’s or pregnant child’s life, even if the fetus cannot be saved, doctors should not end the pregnancy to save the life of the mother. He believes doctors should let the mother die. If doctors do terminate the pregnancy to save the patient’s life, Herndon thinks the doctors should be charged with murder.

I believe that the government has no business involving itself in people’s private medical decisions. As your state senator, I will never vote to charge a doctor with murder for saving the life of a pregnant patient. I will never vote to charge a pregnant patient with murder if her pregnancy ends due to no fault of her own.

Women and young girls should not die because of pregnancies gone wrong. 

 

Gun Ownership

I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. I have been a gun owner all my life, and I will continue to support the rights of responsible gun owners. I did not, however, support Scott Herndon’s attempt to take a gun into the Festival at Sandpoint, or the lawsuits he filed and lost, which forced Bonner County to pay the City of Sandpoint $71,206.55. 

We’d love to hear from you

This is our state and I want to keep it the wonderful place it is. Your opinion matters and I look forward to your comments and questions.

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