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KIFI/KIDK Voter Guide: Bill Leake

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2020 Voter Bill Leake
Bill Leake
  • Party:
    • Democratic Party
  • Website:
  • Background:
    • Leake served as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Director of Public Works/Infrastructure and Engineering/Construction Management at the Idaho National Laboratory. As Director of Planning and Budgeting at INL, he oversaw their Environmental Cleanup Program. He also held a Teton County Commissioner seat from 2015-16.   

Why are you running for Idaho House of Representatives to represent District 32B?

Well, I'm running for the state legislature because having been on the public health board and spent a lot of time with the legislature over the last several years.

One thing I've come to realize is that, they're not, they're not making progress or not getting things done. For example spent, they spent several years dealing with the Medicaid expansion to try to come up with an affordable healthcare program for those low income. And they were unable to do it.

Finally, Medicaid expansion comes along and then they try to find all kinds of ways to not fund it. And try to put that burden on a local communities through property taxes. So I decided that it's time to step in there and see what I could do to help get things moving. And along in a legislature, I'm a, I'm like, get the job done kind of guy, but I want to get it done right. So when I looked at it, My history was a Republican until I run for County commissioner and decided that I couldn't support the way the Republican party was being run in Idaho and signed up as a Democrat. And I consider myself to be a very conservative Democrat.

What issues would you focus on if you’re re-elected?

Well, the issues as I see them is that, the, the basic citizen in Idaho, um, is the cost of living. When you look at their healthcare costs, you know, affordable housing, there's a multitude of our workforce out there that is struggling to get by. And one of the things I did as a County commissioner is I found ways to.

Reduced taxes. I actually eliminated a taxing district, saving the taxpayers $550,000 a year just in Teton County. And I think what we need in the legislature is folks that are looking ways to improve government by finding any efficiencies and unnecessary government, and then applying those savings to other things that are needed.

Uh, in the, uh, in the state for sample education. So I'm a real advocate of local government, local control. I think that school boards, mayors County commissioners, those folks knows what's going on in their communities and we need less state oversight and strings attached to funding from the state to let the guys that know what's going on in their communities do what's best.

Do you have any specifics on how you would manage community growth in the long term?

Well, community growth. That's a, that's a good one because every community region County and the state's a little bit different. You got heavy populated areas over in Boise.

Semi heavily populated areas here in Eastern Idaho. But again, I'll go back to let the local governments figure out what's needed and have the state turn loose. Those funds that are coming to the local governments without having a lot of strings attached so that they have more flexibility and utilizing those funds where they make sense affordable housing is probably one of the biggest ones.

Uh, we want to grow, but if you're going to grow and bring in new businesses, you gotta have a place for the workers to live. And I know for right here in Teton County, that's a huge challenge. So I think for community growth, we need to basically focus on affordable housing fordable health care, uh, just to name a couple of the items, uh, and, and part of doing that and one of the reasons I'm running for state legislature is we've got to get in there and work together and put all this, this politics aside, whether you're Republican, a democratic, conservative, liberal, whatever you want to title yourself, we need to set it aside and come up with good solutions to keep things moving forward.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho State Legislative Candidates

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