Guest Opinions

Lt. gov. candidate Steve Yates: Idaho can be an example of conservative policies in action

Idaho lieutenant governor candidate Steve Yates in Taiwan in early December 2016.
Idaho lieutenant governor candidate Steve Yates in Taiwan in early December 2016. The Taiwan News

 2018 is a time of choosing in Idaho. With an open seat forgovernor, lieutenant governor and the 1st Congressional District, we havereal choices that will guide the direction we want our state to go. We have a presidentwho doesn’t wake up every morning thinking of ways to overregulate our states,and he’s put the pedal to the metal on the economy through deregulation and taxreform. The challenge and opportunity before us now is where do we, as a state,want to take it from here.

I grew up in the “suburbs” of a town of 300 people, watchingmy dad work all week — and most Saturdays — fixing cars to help take care ofour family. Hanging out with him in the shop was my favorite thing to do. Inhis example I saw the value of hard work, integrity and service. When themiracle of adoption brought our two children into our lives, most of all, Ihoped Christina and John would inherit these same values from their Pop Pop.I’m running for lieutenant governor because, like you, I love my family andwant the best possible future for them — right here in Idaho.

I often joke that I’m married to Idaho’s greatest educator.The jury may have been biased, but the competition is over, and I chose her. Iknow from her experience, as well as the experience of our own children goingthrough school, that education is not one size fits all, and testing is notalways an accurate representation of a student’s skills. The focus of oureducation system must be on mastery of skills rather than tests, and the focusof our funding must be on students, teachers and the classroom. The focus ofresources and responsibility must be local, with parents and communitieschoosing the best education system for their children. And we must practice whatwe preach, resisting federal mandates while making sure as a state we are notdoing the same to our districts.

As our students graduate, we need jobs in our state ready toreceive them. Too many families have stories of their children moving to adifferent state, not because they want to, but because there were not goodpaying jobs in Idaho for them. With cooperation and innovation, we can bringnew investment to Idaho, creating reliable well-paid jobs for our students.

None of this can be done unless we, as a state, arecommitted to systematically eliminating the regulations that are no longernecessary. Innovative and creative solutions can solve many of the challengesin our state, without implementing rules and regulations that do little morethan put pebbles in the shoes of average Idahoans. 

Idaho is already a great state, with wonderful people. Withthe right leaders, the right priorities, and the right values, we can be evenbetter. I’m running for lieutenant governor because I believe that our statecan be an example of what happens when conservative policies are put intoaction, and I want to leave it a better place for generations to come.

 Steve Yates is a candidate for Idaho lieutenant governor.