Idaho’s future belongs
to all of us.

Education for our future

As a mother, I have witnessed firsthand the shortcomings and successes of Idaho’s education system. As a businesswoman, I understand that investing in education means investing in Idaho’s bottom line. States with strong public schools succeed economically, and it’s no secret that our state’s education system is inadequate. In an analysis by Education Week’s national report card, Idaho received a D-plus this year in education quality. I believe that further investment and innovation in public education will strengthen Idaho’s economy and support its struggling rural areas.

We can improve the source of funding to our public schools through smarter spending. By eliminating avoidable costs to our state such as expensive and unnecessary legal conflicts, costly contracts to house Idaho prisoners in other states, and tax loopholes for big corporations, we will have more money to direct to our state’s students.

 

Universal Preschool

My first priority is to invest in an opt-in statewide universal preschool program, where these additional education dollars will have the highest return for our students. Child development research shows us that children learn best and retain the most information between the ages of 0 to 5. Public preschool will prepare all Idaho children to enter elementary school with basic language proficiency and social skills, ensuring a higher level of equity within our school environments and fostering continued learning.

 

Fair Teacher Pay

Idaho’s teachers are the heart of our education system, and we need to treat them like the vital asset they are. If we fail to prioritize fair teacher compensation, our public schools will have no legs to stand on – in order to remain competitive, and to attract and retain our best teachers, Idaho needs to pay its educators salaries comparable to those in surrounding states. During the last legislative. session, I helped introduce a bill that would forgive teachers’ student loan debts if they worked in our rural schools. Incentive programs like this one help create education equity across our state.

 

Affordable Higher Education

Many Idaho families struggle to afford the cost of in-state college tuition in Idaho. As governor, I will help ease the financial burden of higher education by investing in technical and career training programs for high school students – particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), a field that yielded 7,000 unfilled jobs in Idaho last year alone. I will also increase funding for AP (Advanced Placement) classes and dual credit classes in high schools, so that students can get a running start on their University credits and complete their college degrees sooner and at a lower cost to them and their families. Digital education opportunities, like online classes for college credit, also help increase the affordability of higher education. As governor, I will push for the expansion of these opportunities to ensure that every Idahoan is equipped to compete in the American economy of the future.

Healthcare for all

In Idaho, we are committed to taking care of one another, regardless of our differing circumstances. That’s why I believe that affordable and accessible healthcare is a basic human right. For too long, too many Idahoans have struggled without sufficient access to healthcare across our state.

 

Medicaid Expansion

The first piece of the solution is to provide adequate funding for healthcare services. Right now, 62,000 Idahoans have been left in a coverage gap – they don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to purchase their own health insurance. As governor, I will support expanding Medicaid to provide everyone in Idaho with the primary care and coverage they deserve. This will save Idaho and our local counties $34 million per year by avoiding the medical costs of uninsured patients – funds that we will reinvest back into our local hospitals and communities.

 

Building a Medical School

The second piece of the solution is to increase the number of medical professionals in Idaho, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and pharmacists. We have too few doctors and our facilities are inadequate to serve the needs of our population. An urgent crisis like this one demands a bold solution and strong leadership: Idaho deserves its own public medical school. Economic development data from the Association of American Medical Colleges shows that each medical school established in a state creates $1 billion of economic impact in that state. We have three outstanding research institutions in Idaho – the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and Idaho State University – and we have the resources to follow the model provided by a neighboring state, where two public universities founded a joint medical school program. As governor, I will work with the presidents of our three major research institutions to establish an inter-professional, community-based medical school that will recruit Idaho students, train them as medical professionals, and retain them in Idaho’s community healthcare centers.

Land protection and conservation

Here in Idaho, our land is not only our heritage, but also the source of our livelihood. It serves as a valuable asset to our state – one that should be shared by everyone, not auctioned off to wealthy individuals and big corporations for private profit. As an asset, it must be protected and preserved for Idaho’s future generations.

 

Public Lands in Public Hands

As governor, I will ensure that all public lands remain in the custody of the public, so we can continue to enjoy and utilize them. As a member of Idaho’s land board, I have long been a supporter of the Good Neighbor Authority Agreement, which allows the state of Idaho to co-manage public lands with the U.S. Forest Service for healthy forest management and continued public access.

 

Conservation & Cleanup

We can’t stop at mere access to our lands. Idaho’s environment is being degraded by abuse and overuse, which threatens both our health and our economic growth. Idaho is home to four of the ten most polluted school counties in the United States. Every day that our leaders fail to clean up this contamination and neglect to enforce existing air and water pollution laws, they endanger the ability of our children to learn and grow.

 

Combating Climate Change

I believe in science: climate change is real, and in Idaho, it is one of the greatest environmental and economic challenges we face. The increased intensity and frequency of droughts, fires, and flooding is hitting us at the heart of our most profitable industries: agriculture, timber, and tourism. As governor, I will work to position Idaho as a leader in developing solutions that mitigate the effects of climate change. We will take responsibility for the protection of our environment while positioning our state to prosper in the rapidly-growing clean energy and sustainability sector.

Prosperous Idaho

It’s a simple fact that Idaho’s economy is suffering. Local businesses struggle to keep doors open and many workers cannot provide for their families on a full-time salary. These economic realities hit our rural towns the hardest. As governor, I will revitalize our economy in every part of our state by investing in innovation and expanding opportunity, especially in rural areas.

 

A Livable Wage

Idahoans who work full time shouldn’t be living in poverty. Idaho has the lowest minimum wage in the West, but the highest number of minimum-wage workers. As governor, I will look at every opportunity to raise the minimum wage, including indexing, which is done in fifteen states. I will work with the Idaho State Legislature and in collaboration with the business community on a graduated plan to begin raising the minimum wage in manageable increments – an initiative other cities and states have successfully accomplished across the country.

 

Innovation

Here in Idaho, we value self-sufficiency, and we have a legacy of embracing homegrown clean energy – our Boise Statehouse is the only state capitol building in the country heated by geothermal water, a resource we are fortunate to have in abundance in Idaho. Clean energy technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, with solar energy creating jobs at seventeen times the rate of the rest of the U.S. economy. We are fortunate to live in a state with the resources and the talent to compete on the cutting edge of the energy industry. As governor, I will invest in the expansion and further development of our homegrown energy resources: wind, solar, water, geothermal, and biomass energy.

I want to grow Idaho’s information technology sector by investing in STEM education at the high school level, so that our state has the workforce to create and drive a booming tech industry. I will also help foster public-private partnerships between our universities, technology companies, and the Idaho National Lab in order to expand job opportunities for Idaho’s students in the information technology sector.

As governor, I plan to promote research and development around advanced technologies in the agriculture and timber industries, which will cut costs and enhance sustainability. I will fight to bring innovative practices to Idaho, such as cross-laminated timber, a sustainable, wood-based building material, and I will advance future-focused policy, like legislation that allows ranchers and farmers to increase earnings by developing both agriculture and energy products.

 

Tourism

To boost economic activity in rural areas, we must harness the full potential of Idaho’s $3.4 billion tourism industry – an opportunity that our state’s leaders have failed to cash in on. By implementing a strategic national marketing campaign, we can attract many more visitors to enjoy the locally-grown food, iconic rivers, and incredible wilderness areas of rural Idaho. As governor, I will propose a plan for the implementation of a statewide rural transportation system, which will link rural areas with urban areas to optimize tourism opportunities in small communities.

 

Internet Equality

Idaho struggles with a digital divide – while most of Idaho has high-speed internet, 21% of our state is considered underserved, or lacking sufficient connectivity. As governor, I will work to expand broadband access to these areas. While 83% of the population on Idaho’s tribal lands is underserved, the most connected tribal community is my own, the Coeur d’Alene tribe. I served on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council when we constructed a wireless and Fiber-to-the-home network across the reservation, so I know what it takes to provide rural communities with the internet connectivity they require to connect and thrive in the modern economy.

Paulette’s Priorities

Education for our future

As a mother, I have witnessed firsthand the shortcomings and successes of Idaho’s education system. As a businesswoman, I understand that investing in education means investing in Idaho’s bottom line. States with strong public schools succeed economically, and it’s no secret that our state’s education system is inadequate. In an analysis by Education Week’s national report card, Idaho received a D-plus this year in education quality. I believe that further investment and innovation in public education will strengthen Idaho’s economy and support its struggling rural areas.

We can improve the source of funding to our public schools through smarter spending. By eliminating avoidable costs to our state such as expensive and unnecessary legal conflicts, costly contracts to house Idaho prisoners in other states, and tax loopholes for big corporations, we will have more money to direct to our state’s students.

 

Universal Preschool

My first priority is to invest in an opt-in statewide universal preschool program, where these additional education dollars will have the highest return for our students. Child development research shows us that children learn best and retain the most information between the ages of 0 to 5. Public preschool will prepare all Idaho children to enter elementary school with basic language proficiency and social skills, ensuring a higher level of equity within our school environments and fostering continued learning.

 

Fair Teacher Pay

Idaho’s teachers are the heart of our education system, and we need to treat them like the vital asset they are. If we fail to prioritize fair teacher compensation, our public schools will have no legs to stand on – in order to remain competitive, and to attract and retain our best teachers, Idaho needs to pay its educators salaries comparable to those in surrounding states. During the last legislative. session, I helped introduce a bill that would forgive teachers’ student loan debts if they worked in our rural schools. Incentive programs like this one help create education equity across our state.

 

Affordable Higher Education

Many Idaho families struggle to afford the cost of in-state college tuition in Idaho. As governor, I will help ease the financial burden of higher education by investing in technical and career training programs for high school students – particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), a field that yielded 7,000 unfilled jobs in Idaho last year alone. I will also increase funding for AP (Advanced Placement) classes and dual credit classes in high schools, so that students can get a running start on their University credits and complete their college degrees sooner and at a lower cost to them and their families. Digital education opportunities, like online classes for college credit, also help increase the affordability of higher education. As governor, I will push for the expansion of these opportunities to ensure that every Idahoan is equipped to compete in the American economy of the future.

Healthcare for all

In Idaho, we are committed to taking care of one another, regardless of our differing circumstances. That’s why I believe that affordable and accessible healthcare is a basic human right. For too long, too many Idahoans have struggled without sufficient access to healthcare across our state.

 

Medicaid Expansion

The first piece of the solution is to provide adequate funding for healthcare services. Right now, 62,000 Idahoans have been left in a coverage gap – they don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to purchase their own health insurance. As governor, I will support expanding Medicaid to provide everyone in Idaho with the primary care and coverage they deserve. This will save Idaho and our local counties $34 million per year by avoiding the medical costs of uninsured patients – funds that we will reinvest back into our local hospitals and communities.

 

Building a Medical School

The second piece of the solution is to increase the number of medical professionals in Idaho, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and pharmacists. We have too few doctors and our facilities are inadequate to serve the needs of our population. An urgent crisis like this one demands a bold solution and strong leadership: Idaho deserves its own public medical school. Economic development data from the Association of American Medical Colleges shows that each medical school established in a state creates $1 billion of economic impact in that state. We have three outstanding research institutions in Idaho – the University of Idaho, Boise State University, and Idaho State University – and we have the resources to follow the model provided by a neighboring state, where two public universities founded a joint medical school program. As governor, I will work with the presidents of our three major research institutions to establish an inter-professional, community-based medical school that will recruit Idaho students, train them as medical professionals, and retain them in Idaho’s community healthcare centers.

Land protection and conservation

Here in Idaho, our land is not only our heritage, but also the source of our livelihood. It serves as a valuable asset to our state – one that should be shared by everyone, not auctioned off to wealthy individuals and big corporations for private profit. As an asset, it must be protected and preserved for Idaho’s future generations.

 

Public Lands in Public Hands

As governor, I will ensure that all public lands remain in the custody of the public, so we can continue to enjoy and utilize them. As a member of Idaho’s land board, I have long been a supporter of the Good Neighbor Authority Agreement, which allows the state of Idaho to co-manage public lands with the U.S. Forest Service for healthy forest management and continued public access.

 

Conservation & Cleanup

We can’t stop at mere access to our lands. Idaho’s environment is being degraded by abuse and overuse, which threatens both our health and our economic growth. Idaho is home to four of the ten most polluted school counties in the United States. Every day that our leaders fail to clean up this contamination and neglect to enforce existing air and water pollution laws, they endanger the ability of our children to learn and grow.

 

Combating Climate Change

I believe in science: climate change is real, and in Idaho, it is one of the greatest environmental and economic challenges we face. The increased intensity and frequency of droughts, fires, and flooding is hitting us at the heart of our most profitable industries: agriculture, timber, and tourism. As governor, I will work to position Idaho as a leader in developing solutions that mitigate the effects of climate change. We will take responsibility for the protection of our environment while positioning our state to prosper in the rapidly-growing clean energy and sustainability sector.

Prosperous Idaho

It’s a simple fact that Idaho’s economy is suffering. Local businesses struggle to keep doors open and many workers cannot provide for their families on a full-time salary. These economic realities hit our rural towns the hardest. As governor, I will revitalize our economy in every part of our state by investing in innovation and expanding opportunity, especially in rural areas.

 

A Livable Wage

Idahoans who work full time shouldn’t be living in poverty. Idaho has the lowest minimum wage in the West, but the highest number of minimum-wage workers. As governor, I will look at every opportunity to raise the minimum wage, including indexing, which is done in fifteen states. I will work with the Idaho State Legislature and in collaboration with the business community on a graduated plan to begin raising the minimum wage in manageable increments – an initiative other cities and states have successfully accomplished across the country.

 

Innovation

Here in Idaho, we value self-sufficiency, and we have a legacy of embracing homegrown clean energy – our Boise Statehouse is the only state capitol building in the country heated by geothermal water, a resource we are fortunate to have in abundance in Idaho. Clean energy technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, with solar energy creating jobs at seventeen times the rate of the rest of the U.S. economy. We are fortunate to live in a state with the resources and the talent to compete on the cutting edge of the energy industry. As governor, I will invest in the expansion and further development of our homegrown energy resources: wind, solar, water, geothermal, and biomass energy.

I want to grow Idaho’s information technology sector by investing in STEM education at the high school level, so that our state has the workforce to create and drive a booming tech industry. I will also help foster public-private partnerships between our universities, technology companies, and the Idaho National Lab in order to expand job opportunities for Idaho’s students in the information technology sector.

As governor, I plan to promote research and development around advanced technologies in the agriculture and timber industries, which will cut costs and enhance sustainability. I will fight to bring innovative practices to Idaho, such as cross-laminated timber, a sustainable, wood-based building material, and I will advance future-focused policy, like legislation that allows ranchers and farmers to increase earnings by developing both agriculture and energy products.

 

Tourism

To boost economic activity in rural areas, we must harness the full potential of Idaho’s $3.4 billion tourism industry – an opportunity that our state’s leaders have failed to cash in on. By implementing a strategic national marketing campaign, we can attract many more visitors to enjoy the locally-grown food, iconic rivers, and incredible wilderness areas of rural Idaho. As governor, I will propose a plan for the implementation of a statewide rural transportation system, which will link rural areas with urban areas to optimize tourism opportunities in small communities.

 

Internet Equality

Idaho struggles with a digital divide – while most of Idaho has high-speed internet, 21% of our state is considered underserved, or lacking sufficient connectivity. As governor, I will work to expand broadband access to these areas. While 83% of the population on Idaho’s tribal lands is underserved, the most connected tribal community is my own, the Coeur d’Alene tribe. I served on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council when we constructed a wireless and Fiber-to-the-home network across the reservation, so I know what it takes to provide rural communities with the internet connectivity they require to connect and thrive in the modern economy.