As part of our coverage of the 2018 election, we’re bringing you conversations with each of the candidates running for governor who face a primary challenge.
James Dawson spoke with Peter Dill, a business attorney and organic farmer from Emmett, who's seeking his first political office.
On addressing the estimated 62,000 people stuck in the so-called Medicaid gap:
Dill differs from his two opponents in that he doesn't support expanding Medicaid eligibility in Idaho.
“I think the primary need for people without health coverage is to obtain access to quality primary care. There are high quality medical health centers around the state that are already providing for people without insurance coverage and I would like to see the state of Idaho provide for them to do further work, broader services to meet the needs of people without insurance.”
In 2017, Idaho's Catastrophic Health Fund paid out $29.4 million, which Dill says would decrease if the money is used to broaden primary care access.
How he would bolster Idaho's low high school graduation rates and prepare students for in-demand, high-skill jobs:
“In the first instance, I would like to see us increase the salary for first-year teachers so we’re able to compete in the five-state marketplace for best teachers – and particularly teachers who are able to handle linked classrooms.”
Classrooms in remote or rural areas are already linked through the internet, but Dill says those collaborations should be expanded. He also says he wants to streamline administrative responsibilities at the district level.
“I think we have to look at scope. I think we have to look at focus and purpose and, at the same time, let’s stay within our financial bounds and rearrange the budget to meet the needs.”
How he would balance preserving Idaho's proud western heritage while also embracing its identity as the fastest-growing state in the country:
“Part of it is intelligent land planning, part of it is care for and preservation of public lands and part of it is sound environmental policy so we’re taking care of the countrysides and the perimeters around our cities and towns and not allowing risky development or risky extraction or other things that are going to damage the character and nature of Idaho.”
Dill is one of three Democrats vying for his party's nomination for governor.
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