About John

Serving as a State Legislator from the Central Bench of Boise, is an honor and I appreciate the continued support of the people of District 17.  This year District 17 added the area between Cole Road on the East, Cloverdale on the West,  Victory Road on the South and the I-84 Freeway.  Welcome!

   Background: I am a 40 year resident of the Boise Bench area where I raised my kids, helped our PTA, and served as a neighborhood leader. Unhappy with paying for water we couldn’t get, I ran for the New York Irrigation District in 1989, got elected, and 400 homes with no hope of water access or lots too small to need it were released from the tax and district.   I have served in the legislature since 2013 and service has included the finance, state affairs, transportation, judiciary, business and ethics committees. I have been involved in many issues this last session including fighting laws that restrict voting, trying to open roads so people have access to public lands, education funding, property tax fairness, repeal of the grocery tax to slow inflation and many others.

This year I developed a bill to allow cities to rebate property taxes.  Boise will rebate 1.2 million to help low income homeowners stay in their homes:


This year I wrote two bills that passed that restrict State investments in Russian bonds and currencies:


I am a part time attorney now and during my 40 years I have represented thousands of people and small businesses.  I also have occasionally taken Idaho Legal Aid clients and worked to resolve their civil matters.   As an attorney I 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.

These are some areas I have worked on:

  Education: The Micron announcement of thousands of jobs for our area means our kids need to be prepared for these jobs or others will move here to take them. There is a teacher and school personnel shortage so I supported setting aside an additional $400 million for Kindergarten through High School education in September.  In fact 9% inflation means that salaries will have to increase that much just to keep even.  Personnel costs are around 85% of the K-12 expense, but to attract and retain the best, they must be paid so they can afford to live here.

My kids attended Monroe, South Junior High, Borah High School and Idaho universities. I became familiar with the challenges and opportunities in our schools. I successfully led a group “Neighborhood Schools Work” that successfully kept Monroe School open when the district tried to demolish it in 2005.  Neighborhood schools help parental participation, attract parents with children to a neighborhood, facilitate walking to school, and give kids more of an identity.  It is good when the principal and teachers have a smaller school where they know most of the students names. I worked for new schools at Whitney and Grace Jordan and fought against the  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 and we have to deal with these threats before then can be carried out by perpetrators.

As a finance committee member and legislator I have consistently supported state help for school buildings so that our property taxes are less, and reasonable support for achievement testing.

  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. I have had several meetings with Suez (now Veola) and three forums. In late 2020 I and three other Bench residents intervened when Veola wanted a 20% rate increase.  We said no more money until Suez (now Veola) fixed our problems

The Public Utilities Commission responded with a settlement that monitors Suez.  In September, 2021 Suez began spending 1.5 million to install a filtering system at the Taggert Street wells (near Vista & Nez Perce).  This was completed in April 2022 and has helped.  Old rusting iron pipes need to be replaced too and since 2020 there have been ten projects including Cherry Lane and Cassia Street.

Please always call Veola(formerly Suez) when you have brown water: 208-362-7304, and then call the Idaho Public Utilities Commission at:


Note:  If you have a brown water issue, be sure that it occurs in your cold water too.  If there is brown water only in your hot water,  have your hot water heater checked. 

  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 in 2019 and 2020, 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.