- Democratic Party
- Website: mikesavilleforidaho.com
- Facebook: Mike Saville
- Born in Pocatello, Mike Saville has lived in Idaho for most of his life. After high school, Saville spent four years in the Air Force and then began his career with IBM. In 2013, he returned to McCammon to retire with his wife of 52 years. He is running to represent District 28 in the state legislature.
Why are you running to be on the state legislature?
Saville: “I was a Republican district voting chairman in Utah, I helped Republicans get elected. But when I came to Idaho after being gone for 30 years, I couldn’t understand why the children in our neighborhood were going to school at 6 a.m. and then getting home at 5 p.m. four days a week. These are first, second and third graders. On Fridays, they sell candy to play in the band. I couldn’t understand that.
I found out why, in 2006, then Governor Risch lowered property taxes by three mills, and then raised sales tax 20% from 5 cents to 6 cents. The results were, in Marsh Valley, the school went from $1 million in state funding to $32,000.
Had I come back to Idaho and the Democrats had done what the Republicans did to education in this state, I would have run as a Republican. So that’s the reason I’m running. Maybe I can make a difference.
What issues specifically would you address if you’re elected?
Saville: “Public lands--There are billionaires moving here and the Governor doesn’t seem to do anything about it. They’re locking down public lands. There was one out here where, for a hundred years, the families in Marsh Valley took their kids up there to get their first deer. A guy up here got a lawyer and locked it down, so they can’t get there the way they used to be able to. Idaho is changing, primarily for the benefit of the wealthy people and corporations.
Health care--I had a cousin who passed away before Medicaid Expansion came to Idaho. For six years, the Republicans in this state blocked taking that $400 million a year that provided 5,000 jobs, plus 80,000 people would have affordable health care. And I agree that it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing. My cousin never had any health care, he worked at a fast food place. He started having chest pains so he went to a walk-in clinic for $250. They diagnosed a chest cold, so he went home. Two days later, they found him on the floor dead. He had a blood clot. Had he had insurance, he probably would be alive today.
The last thing is wages. The minimum wage hasn’t been raised in 12 years. To have an equivalent purchasing power from 12 years ago, you need $8.75. A person who’s 31 and is paid the minimum wage for 40 hours a week, after taxes, they have $1100 a month. You can’t live on that. It’s not right. In Oregon where they have higher minimum wage, their hamburgers are not $10. So there’s a lot of bolognese going on.
Those are the kinds of things that can be done, but you’ve got to have enough votes. As long as the Idaho legislature has this super duper majority, 28 out 35 senators that are all Republican, it’s going to be a challenge. It’s not going to be fixed over night but at least we’ll start the discussion.