Arizona is finally showing some signs of a weak economic recovery. The recent serious recession with all of its unfortunate consequences caused our state to face an unprecedented 3 billion dollar deficit. Although the gap has been closed, and the state now has a positive cash balance, I believe it would be foolish to return to the reckless spending of the past. The reality is that by 2015 we will be facing another budget deficit largely due to the implementation of Obamacare, which is projected to cost the state upwards of half a billion dollars. I will always be a strong advocate for responsible spending by the state and better financial planning for the future.
Like you, I have friends and neighbors that have lost their jobs and homes. A contributing factor to our economic crisis came from the reckless spending of taxpayers’ dollars. Too often it is suggested that we simply raise taxes in order to meet our financial obligations. I believe we first need to look at how we can cut wasteful and unnecessary spending and adhere to a responsible and balanced budget. Moreover, it’s clear to me that allowing Arizonans to keep more of what they earn will lead to more job creation and economic prosperity.
As Arizonans continue to struggle with high unemployment, one of my top priorities in Legislature is to turn our economy around and get Arizonans back to work. Businesses need stability to thrive and create jobs - that starts with keeping taxes low and insisting on more disciplined government spending. Working with leaders in all areas of our economy, I will continue aggressively to push for sensible policies that will build a strong and sustainable economy and create better paying jobs in our communities.
In light of my own educational opportunities, I have seen firsthand the benefits that a good education can make in a person’s life. Research shows that the more education a person receives the less likely they are to commit crime, use drugs, or otherwise engage in abusive or harmful behavior. As a result, education is a key to building strong individuals, families, and communities.
While in the legislature I have worked to help pass reforms that will direct more money to the classroom. We must allow our schools to attract the best and brightest teachers. These reforms reward teachers in accordance with their merit and skills, and additionally provide parents with the flexibility needed to choose the best educational opportunities for their children. Education is what builds the foundation for our future; we must continue working until Arizona’s education system is one the best in the country.
Nothing is more important than the safety of individuals and families in our communities. Recent violent crimes and other criminal activity in our community remind us that our number one obligation is to protect our homes and families from the predators of today’s world. This requires vigilance and a commitment to bring to justice those who break the law. We must have adequate police, fire and emergency services in order to stop crime of all kinds from plaguing our communities.
I have worked closely with law enforcement to ensure that we adopt laws and policies that assist them in doing their jobs to protect our communities. I am committed to providing the adequate funding needed to enforce our laws and keep every neighborhoods safe.