Q: 1. What do you hope to accomplish if elected?
Brooke Green: I am committed to addressing our mounting behavioral health crisis. After losing my best friend to suicide this past year, I stand firm that our system needs an overhaul to help our communities. I continue to support improvements to Idaho’s infrastructure. This will include examining local option tax authority and continued reexamination of infrastructure funding methods. Lastly, we must consider programs for pre-k to ensure all children have access to early education opportunities.
Q: 2. What experience has prepared you for this office?
Brooke Green: As a Transportation Planner, I manage and facilitate the scoping efforts and assigned concept studies to address the maintenance or expansion of critical infrastructure projects in Ada County. In my first term, I worked to pass bipartisan legislation addressing the vaping crisis amongst Idaho’s youth. I have also worked in rural public transportation and facilitated planning efforts in South West Idaho seeking solutions to healthcare access, jobs, and critical services
Q: 3. What changes, if any, would you support related to state funding of public education?
Brooke Green: Idaho has a Constitutional mandate to maintain a general, uniform public education system but that burden has been shifted to property owners through supplemental levies. Last year, property owners incurred $214 million of additional taxes through levies. We must reevaluate the funding model and the infrastructure that is reasonable for providing for our students. To do this, we can remove restrictions on the Internet Sales Tax, improve the revenue sharing formula, and fund our schools.
Q: 4. What do you see as Idaho’s prison system’s most important needs and and how would you address those?
Brooke Green: Issues with Idaho’s prison system are numerous and expensive. First, we cannot build ourselves out of overcrowding. Our prisons house an alarming number of returning offenders and we need to evaluate our funding model. This means increasing support for offenders upon their release, providing treatment and support, revisiting mandatory minimum sentencing, and examining the root causes of addiction and wisely investing our dollars into proven treatments.
Q: 5. What do you see as Idaho’s most important healthcare system needs and how would you address those?
Brooke Green: Mental health resources are not readily available in Idaho: all 44 counties are currently designated as mental health shortage areas. Idaho is among the states with the highest suicide rates, 50% higher than the national average. I was recently appointed to Governor Little’s newly launched Behavioral Health Council and I am committed to work alongside my colleagues to champion the recommendation from the council and to create meaningful legislation that provides resources for our communities.
Q: 6. What changes to income, sales and property tax policies would you support?
Brooke Green: For too long, the legislative majority has been approving policy that shifts the tax burden onto homeowners and hardworking Idahoans. We need to introduce meaningful property tax legislation that reinstates the Homeowner’s exemption and increases the circuit breaker program. We can also fund the revenue sharing formula with the internet sales tax revenue. These are relatively easy fixes that could be ready to go this coming session: all we need is political will from the majority.
Q: 7. What measures do you support in updating Idaho’s voting processes?
Brooke Green: We should enhance voter registration opportunities and allow residents to register to vote at the DMV when registering or renewing their vehicle registrations. Idaho should also allow the ability to vote at any polling location rather than the designated precincts. Lastly, we should be blanket mailing ballots to all registered voters who have participated in the previous county, city, or presidential election.
Q: 8. What are the biggest transportation priorities in Idaho for the next 20 years, and how should the state prepare now to fund those projects?
Brooke Green: Infrastructure maintenance should be Idaho’s top priority. Idaho needs $236 million per year in revenue just to maintain and restore local and state infrastructure facilities. Any deferment of this maintenance will only compound this obligation. We need to focus transportation alternatives, including public transportation, and transit-oriented development. Idaho needs to establish User Fees, expand local option tax, and review the impact fees.
Q: 9. Do you support local option sales tax authority for all cities and counties?
Brooke Green: Idaho cities and counties should have the ability to institute a local option sales tax. However, I do not believe that the sale tax should be earmarked for a particular use. I firmly believe that those elected officials closest to the people know best, and decisions regarding use should be determined by their local government for necessary public infrastructure enhancements.