The term fiscal responsibility is often bantered around, but usually not well defined. It can be narrowed down to not spending more than what you bring in. Just as families and individuals need to balance their budgets, so must we as a State. Balancing the State budget was so important to the founders of our state that they made it a requirement in our State Constitution.
Another large part of being fiscally responsible includes how we manage our resources. It includes eliminating waste and setting spending caps, again, living within our budget. It’s not just saying “no” to spending, but involves the complicated task of evaluating and assessing needs, setting priorities, and appropriating funding to achieve those priorities and to meet those needs. That is why we need to have legislators who are committed and focused on balancing our budget, not just putting band-aids on old problems. We need to rein in spending, cut waste and work at ways to increase our income without raising taxes.
During my first session as your Representative for the last two years, we’ve passed a balanced budget without increasing our debt or our taxes. And with the improvement in our economy, which was greatly helped by the legislation that was passed over the last couple of years, we’ve been able to increase funding for Education, Healthcare, Corrections and still put away some money in the rainy day fund to help us face the additional expense Obamacare will bring if it’s not overturned.
Improved Business Climate
Many people move to Arizona because of our climate. They know this is one of the greatest places in the country to live. Our business climate should be the same. We need to work to create a business climate that will not only enable current businesses to grow and prosper, which will result in new jobs and an expanded economy, but will also draw corporations and entrepreneurs to Arizona. If we create the right climate new businesses will come. This will grow our economy and raise revenues for the State without raising taxes.
We have passed jobs bills and tax reform that is already working to strengthen the business climate in Arizona. We can see this with the number of jobs that have grown in Arizona, which has been attributed by experts as a result of the legislation we passed.
As a former business owner I’m also excited about a bill I wrote and sponsored that will simplify sales tax collection for any business working in the non-program cities of Arizona. It will provide a simple, quick, and money saving way to file these taxes, which benefits both the businesses and the cities. The easier and cheaper it is for businesses to operate the more money they’ll have for expansion and job growth.
A strong educational system is not only important for a strong business climate, it’s also important because our children are our future. Their personal value is more than can be measured with dollars and cents. Their success depends on the quality of education they get.
The two most important people in the education process are the student and the teacher. Both need to be fully supported to bring an effective learning environment. Because of that students and parents deserve to have the opportunity to choose what’s best for them, whether that is in a public, private, charter school or home schooling.
I also believe teachers should be paid according to the quality of the job they are doing. Teachers who do an exceptional job should be rewarded with exceptional pay. In these hard economic times it’s even more important for our educational dollars to be spent in a way that will support the teachers in the classroom and not just the bureaucracy of the school district.