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Dave Lent

State Senator Legislative District 33

Biography & Background

I have been married for 43 years to my wife Terri. She has taught performing arts to children in our area for 30 years.
Together we have five children and 13 grandchildren. I was born in Idaho Falls and raised in Shelley. My occupation has been in the nuclear industry, primarily in health physics and managing nuclear facility training programs. I have lived and worked in 7 states, Currently, I am finishing up my second term in the Idaho Senate.

Top 3 Issues:

1. Education: I currently serve as vice-chair on the Senate Education Committee. Having also served 12 years on the District 91 school board and professionally as a nuclear facility training manager, I have developed very strong insights concerning our public education system. We have a system that is designed for college prep when only 40% of our population graduates from college. We need to reevaluate the use of our education dollars and the use of our students’ time preparing for life. Since education is the engine for economic growth and the surest route to self-reliance, we must actively drive continuous improvement and effective use of tax dollars. Both K-12 and higher education saw increased funding this year. I believe it is time to start including specific performance criteria in our funding formula for public education. Another positive step would be the continued effort to bring parents back into the education career preparation process, especially in the high school years. Far too many students are leaving high school without clear direction or preparation for life.
2. Taxes: Comparatively speaking Idaho has aggressively gone after tax relief over the last few years. With the largest tax cuts in state history, we are on a roll and should continue to seek opportunities to drive efficiency and effectiveness in state government. I believe the time has come to look at the culture of state government. Many businesses have been successful in incentivizing employees to work more efficiently and looking for ways to cut costs. The Idaho Department of Transportation has had good success with this approach and I believe the rest of the state government, and ultimately taxpayers, could benefit from this approach.
3. Growth: This is a topic that is both good and bad. Growth has fueled record revenues for the state which are estimated to continue over the next five years. The economy has been hot and extended by the domestic migration of people moving to our state. A downside is when home prices skyrocket and property taxes follow. We have seen where certain individuals in our state on fixed incomes are potentially losing their homes because of rising property taxes. We will need more protections like H481 to provide relief to those who need it most. The accelerated growth has also brought significant discussion concerning the infrastructure required to support it. Some cities are instituting impact fees which have the potential to slow growth or redirect growth to areas without fees and potentially less planning and long-term support. I am supportive of local control and legislation, where appropriate, that lets the free market drive the outcomes.

Integrity in Affiliation

Submission: Yes

“I have read the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Republican Party Platform. I support the Idaho Republican Platform and accept it as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be evaluated. I certify that I am not a candidate, officer, delegate or position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.”

Contact Info: