About John


Serving as a State Legislator from the Central Bench of Boise, where I have lived for 30 years is  and honor 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 I have every confidence that it will go  on the ballot.  This is probably the biggest progressive victory in years.


Committees:  I served this session on the Revenue and Tax, Judiciary and Rules, and Transportation Committees.  I was elected by my caucus to the Ethics Committee and I serve on Administrative Hearing Officer Reform Interim Committee as well as 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, 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 tax cut is not a tax cut at all for 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.

This year 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.

Standing Tall for 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 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 unconscionable to devalue homes without a plan or compensation:


The leading downtown environmental group was silent, which is extremely disappointing. Quality of life also means including neighborhoods in the Stadium planning process and building a new school at or near the Franklin site.  Unfortunately, downtown groups don’t place a priority on the Bench.  I do and I will continue to do so.

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