About John


Serving as a State Legislator from the Central Bench of Boise, where I have lived for 30 years is  an honor and I appreciate the continued support of the people of District 17.

Medicaid for the Uninsured:  Knowing that the Legislature would do nothing, and not even vote on compromises, I joined the initiative campaign to let Idahoans vote. Some Democrats said it couldn’t be done, but I said its not happening at the legislature, so it has to be done this way. I have worked with Luke Mayville, Sam Sandmire, and Tracy Olson for 6 months and it not only made the ballot but 61% of voters passed it. The initiative process is so important for Idahoans to be able to participate in our government, and whether you support or oppose an idea, voters have a right under the Idaho Constitution to have a say.


Committees:  I served this session on the State Affairs, Judiciary and Rules, and Transportation Committees. I was elected by my caucus to the Ethics Committee and I serve on the Change in Employee Compensation Committee, an Interim Committee dealing with Health Insurance Premiums, as well as a Risk Management Advisory Committee and a Cybersecurity Committee

Education: The fact of life is that there are those who do not support public education and they “starve the beast” – the beast being our state general fund. This is done by annual moves to cut taxes, which means less money for education, more tuition increases, and no teacher applicants for many rural schools. I fight these revenue cuts every day at the legislature and vigorously opposed this years $125 million cut to general fund revenue. In fact the 2018 tax cut is not a tax cut at all for some middle class families.

My kids attended Monroe, South and Borah High School and I became familiar with the challenges and opportunities in our schools. I successfully  fought to keep Monroe School open when the district tried to demolish it.  I worked for new schools at Whitney and Grace Jordan and fought against the terrible policy that demolished historic Franklin School.

In 2018 I co-sponsored HB 665 which allows law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who threaten violence against our children and schools. I  spoke at the Governor’s Signing Ceremony saying Idaho is part of the 21st Century, like it or not.

Affordable Housing and Bench Quality of Life:  The Boise Bench is entitled to a quality of life just like the rest of our community, and when the Airport Noise Study said hundreds of affordable homes would be unsuitable for residential use if a squadron of fighter jets arrive, I sought a plan and solution despite strong opposition   It is unfair to devalue homes without a plan or compensation:


I helped the 500 Blue Valley residents preserve their affordable manufactured homes this past year, and when it became clear that the legislature would not address those who take unfair advantage of tenant application fees, I helped Lisa Sanchez get an ordinance passed:


High truck speeds of 80 miles an hour impact our quality of life, and I helped to defeat a bill to allow those speeds.


Bench Brown Water:  The Brown Water forum at Whitney Elementary School in February, 2019, helped bring the problems Bench residents have with drinking water to public attention. Residents living between Vista and Roosevelt have had significant difficulties with brown water from time to time. I have had several meetings with Suez and they are committed to spending 2.5 million to install a filtering system at the Taggert Street wells (near Vista & Nez Perce).  We have many rusted old iron pipes that need to be replaced too and that work is supposed to start in 2020.  Please always call Suez when you have brown water: 208-362-7304, and remember if brown water is from your hot water faucet you should check the water heater as a possible cause.


Background: I am a part time attorney now, and last year I had an Idaho Legal Aid contract to provide services in civil matters to low income people who were mistreated by foreclosure scams, unfair collection practices, and sales disputes.  These are areas I have worked in before. I have served on many committees in the past, fought for irrigation tax reform – which was very interesting, and participated in 6 Supreme Court/Court of Appeals decisions, 25 or more jury trials and counseled probably 3000 people in civil matters.  I graduated from UC Davis,  UC Hastings College of Law and the USAR JAG School.  Most of my military service was standby reserve.

I was motivated to be a candidate for the legislature in 2012 by several education mandates passed by the Legislature in 2011, called the Luna Laws.  Part of my testimony to the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee in 2011 was included on Idaho Reports, a PBS station news program, and I advocated in many other ways against these mandates