Candidate survey: Mila Wood

Q1. The K-12 Education budget is the state’s largest by far, yet some people still believe that we are not spending enough. What would you do to help Idaho’s K-12 students receive a stellar education?
It is my humble opinion that more money does not solve any problem long term, and believe that, just like with my own wallet, some cost benefit analysis should be done with all education reform expenditures. As a parent, I was not seeing a correlation between money in my child’s classroom -or to the teacher, in relation to my tax increases.

Q2. Graduation rates at Idaho’s four-year universities are stagnant while tuition continues to increase (with the exception of the one-year tuition freeze). What would you do to bring down the cost of higher education and help students graduate with less debt?
I’d have to look further into this- but My guess is that there is likely some wasteful spending in every area of education. I also support knowing the financial risk before you go.

Q3. Idaho has both an income tax and a sales tax, while five of our six neighbors have only one or the other. Idaho also has high property taxes. What changes do you suggest, if any, to Idaho’s state tax structure?
I’m not a fan of the current “success tax” , maybe a consumption tax that doesn’t punish those savers amongst us. Or less taxes overall- if we look at eliminating certain taxes, then perhaps grocery tax was a real missed opportunity. I am also not a fan of property tax- especially for our friends with fixed income. It is my hope that people in government could spend tax dollars as they would their own.

Q4. The grocery sales tax has long been debated in Idaho. Should Idaho repeal the tax on groceries? If yes, when?
Like I said above- if a consumption tax is not an option, then certainly elimination of food tax was a missed opportunity.

Q5. Urban renewal districts receive all the increases in property tax revenue within their borders, which forces other property owners to fund increased service requirements. Should Idaho end urban renewal? If not, should state lawmakers change urban renewal law?
Urban Renewal is taxation without representation and is a huge contributor to increased taxes in the counties.

Q6. Healthcare is a significant expense in Idaho’s state budget, rivaling education in total appropriations. How would you tackle ever-increasing state Medicaid costs? More broadly, what ideas do you propose to help make quality healthcare more affordable for all?
Look for other places to cut.

Q7. Criminal justice reform has become a bipartisan issue in recent years. Should Idaho explore further reforms? If so, which reforms would you support?
I would be supportive of things like elimination of mandatory minimums, work on alternative sentence options, and I am concerned with increasing the economy of incarceration.

Q8. In 2020, Idaho saw some reduction in occupational licensing mandates. Should Idaho continue to identify and implement alternatives to licensure burdens? If yes, which licenses should be reviewed or repealed?
Yes. I’d suggest Marriage License(not a occupation license, just an unnecessary)

Q9. Federal dollars always come with strings, yet a significant portion of Idaho’s annual state budget is funded with federal money. Should Idaho work to reduce its dependence on federal funding? If yes, how?
Perhaps if we reviewed how much the federal carrot was costing us, the stick of not receiving it might be a welcome punishment

Q10. Education choice allows parents and students to choose the education that best suits their needs. What policies would you support to strengthen education choice in Idaho?
Untethering the federal mandates from any choice.

Q11. What is the proper role of state government?
Limited in scope, within the layers, as defined in the US and Idaho constitutions.

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