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Voter Guide Responses

Voter Guide Responses

Voter Guide Responses

  • Name: Grant Burgoyne
  • Age: 62
  • Education: B.A. 1975, University of Idaho; J.D. 1988, University of Kansas
  • Prior political experience

    I represent District 16 in the Idaho Senate (2014 - present), and serve as the Minority Caucus Chair. I was in the Idaho House of Representatives (2008 - 2014), and served as the Assistant Minority Leader (2012 - 2014). Prior to that I volunteered as a Democratic precinct captain, legislative district chair, Ada County Chair, 1992 Platform Committee Chair, and as a member of the Democratic National Committee. I volunteered on two gubernatorial campaigns for former Governor Cecil Andrus. I also worked for former Secretary of State Pete T. Cenarrusa with responsibilities pertaining to elections and campaign contribution disclosures.
  • Civic involvement: 

    I have volunteered on Boise School district committees, held various volunteer positions involving the legal profession, and served as an Adjunct Professor at BSU. I also serve on a number of committees, including the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission and the Idaho Supreme Court's Guardianship and Conservatorship Committee.
  • Years living in Idaho: 43 in Idaho and 39 years in Boise.
  • Family: My wife, Christy, and I have been married for 38 years. We have two children and three grandchildren.
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  • Name your three priorities for Idaho. Do you support current policy on them? if not, describe your alternate plan. How would you pay for your proposals that have costs associated with them? 

1. Education, Training and Economic Opportunity. A skilled, educated workforce is critical to economic opportunity, but we need to bring down student costs and debt. I helped pass bills for high school students to earn college credits free of charge, saving taxpayers millions because these credits cost far more in college. I also helped pass bills creating new investments and good paying jobs.
2. Medicaid Expansion. It's the right thing to do, will save Idaho taxpayers many millions of dollars, and will grow our economy. It passed the Senate with my support. Its failure on a party line vote in the House is tragic for those in the gap, and bad for Idaho.
3. Stopping the Nonsense. Whether its Bibles in school, loss of local control, a takeover and sell off of federal lands, or pay to play politics favoring special interests, the politicians controlling the Statehouse have it wrong. We need a sustainable economy that works for everyone, realistic minimum wages, stronger privacy and consumer protection, a healthy environment, Add the Words, stronger voting rights, fairer elections and a state that welcomes and respects legal immigrants who want to build a better America. 

  • How should Idaho address the health care needs of the 78,000 residents in the so-called gap population? Do you support Medicaid expansion in some form? Some other proposal? Please address funding for the option you prefer.

    Medicaid expansion is the right and smart thing to do. I have strongly supported it since it first became possible. Senate Bill 1205 (Healthy Idaho) is my preferred approach, but any responsible approach that provides adequate health care to the gap population, and can pass, will get my vote. Medicaid expansion will save Idaho taxpayers millions of dollars by allowing us to shut down existing state and local indigency programs which are expensive and inefficient. This will more than offset the state's share of the expansion costs. The infusion of federal expansion money into Idaho will grow the economy, particularly in the Treasure Valley which is a medical center for parts of three states. 
  • What is the state's obligation to public schools? Is Idaho spending enough on buildings, teachers and operations? How can Idaho improve its go-on rate for students leaving high school?

    The state is not meeting its constitutionally required obligation to provide a "uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools." In 2006, the Legislature cut property taxes promising to make up the loss to the school with state funds. It broke that promise with years of inadequate state funding, forcing most school districts to repeatedly ask voters for override property tax levies. Despite recent increases, state funding is barely at 2009 levels and makes no allowance for student population and inflation increases, leading to larger class sizes, out dated text books and many other shortcomings. Although the new teacher career ladder is funded, and raises minimum new teacher pay, it is inadequate to retain experienced teachers. To improve the go-on rate, Idaho needs a new pro-education culture that communicates the value and importance of education to our children from a very early age. Right now, higher education is, at best, an afterthought in the Legislature. We need a comprehensive statewide broadband network so that students and their parents know that an education will pay off with good paying jobs for those who want to stay where they grew up. 
  • What is your position on the relationship between the federal government, the states and local governments? Is the state right or wrong to hinder or pre-empt action on the local level? Should the state work to take more ownership or control of federal lands in Idaho?

    On local control the Legislature is dead wrong. It tried being a super school board with the Luna Laws and forcing school districts into a state broadband contract riddled with illegalities. Now free to do their own contracting, the districts are doing the same work for much less money. The Legislature wrongly blocks local option authority and local regulation of plastic bags and minimum wages. I oppose a state takeover of federal lands. They will cost the state money it doesn't have, and will have to be sold off and then they will be locked up for private use. Our focus should be on working collaboratively with the federal government on land management, recognizing that when our views are ignored suits may be necessary. The Legislature pretends to champion individual rights and freedom against the federal government. Unfortunately, the politicians running the Statehouse like their power to meddle in others' affairs. They would do well to listen to their criticism of the federal government and work to curb their own abuses of Idaho.
  • Name three actions taken by the Legislature this past session that you opposed. Name three you supported or would support. Explain.

    I opposed the Bibles in the schools bill (SB 1342), blocking the power of local governments to regulate plastic bags (HB 372) and minimum wages (HB 463), and SB 1389 permitting the carrying of concealed weapons within cities without a license. These bills were unconstitutional, overrode local citizens' rights to govern themselves, or posed significant public safety issues. I supported the following bills which passed: my bill to permit stalking and harassment victims to obtain civil protection orders (SB 1373); I co-sponsored HB 528 to ensure that sexual assault evidence kits are timely and properly tested, HB 580 repealing the rule that a victim must put up a futile or dangerous resistance in order to convict a rapist, HB 481 giving terminally ill patients the right to try experimental treatments, online voter registration (SB 1297), and HB 458 streamlining and enhancing opportunities for high school students to earn college credits free of charge; and I supported bills to provide indigent criminal defendants adequate defenses. I believe these bills will have a positive effect and benefit on Idahoans' everyday lives. 
  • What is the proper role of a part-time citizen Legislature? Do you think Idaho’s current system works? Does the Legislature function well or do you see need for changes or improvements?

    I believe a part-time citizen Legislature is very important to having a Legislature that looks like, and is representative of, the people of Idaho. Unfortunately, this positive aspect of our system has been overridden by other factors. In a state dominated by one party, too many legislators do not face election opponents who can win. In that environment, even good people can stop listening and representing their constituents as well as they otherwise would. A recent study showed that Idaho has the third oldest Legislature in the nation, and its age is significantly above that of the citizenry. Rural interests remain more powerful than their numbers justify. 
  • Have you been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a misdemeanor or felony or had a withheld judgment? If so, what, when and where?   No.
  • Have you or a company you owned filed bankruptcy? If so, when and where?   No.