America has the best health care system in the world. While there are significant challenges, Utah does not need a one-size-fits-all mandate from the federal government that costs more and limits choice. Utah has been on the cutting edge of health care reform for several years in the areas of affordability, choice, access and transparency and that effort is being significantly impacted by Obamacare. With my background as a nurse and experience in the health care arena, I will continue to promote policies that keep costs down and increase consumer involvement in their own health care decisions.
The private sector creates jobs, not government. With Utah unemployment at about 7.5%, government’s role is to provide a business friendly tax and regulatory framework that allows the private sector to hire more people. Companies continue to relocate to Utah from around the country, existing Utah companies are beginning to expand and hire again,and Utah is being recognized by non-partisan groups for its handling of the current recession. Some of our recent recognitions are:
- Best Expected Economic Recovery (American Legislative Exchange Council)
- Among Top 10 States for Job Creation (IHS Global Insight)
- Most Dynamic Economy (Forbes Magazine)
Utah must continue to provide a fertile environment for private enterprise to prosper. I will continue to advocate for principles of limited taxation and limited, appropriate regulations.
Effectively representing the constituents of Provo, Springville, Palmyra, Benjamin and Lakeshore requires a strong, principle-based person who can navigate difficult, emotion-filled issues to determine the proper role of government in solving problems. Also, a representative needs to have strong relationships with cities, counties and school districts so that constituents can receive additional help solving issues and problems at the local level. I take the responsibility to listen to you seriously, holding pre-session meetings and I regularly review the feedback I receive from my yearly constituent survey. I will continue to cut through bureaucracy and seek common sense solutions to the problems facing Utah, Utah County and Legislative District 64.
Population growth and economic prosperity are what make building and maintaining roads an absolute necessity. There is a critical need to focus on long-term lowest cost solutions. In the past, political power controlled which roads were built. One of my greatest achievements has been taking much of the politics out of transportation decisions by implementing a scientific, objective, needs-based model to determine which projects go to the top of the funding list. I will continue to work toward a long-term transportation plan to meet the needs of the state without mortgaging our children’s future.
Defense of the Family
The traditional family is the fundamental unit of society. The autonomy of the family should be respected by government. Individual responsibility and self-reliance should be encouraged and celebrated. Parents should make decisions for their children, not government. It is appropriate for government to protect and defend those who are abused or neglected. Pornography is destructive to the individual, family and the community. I will continue to actively support measures that strengthen the family. I will also vigorously oppose legislation that takes decisions about children away from parents. I will continue to advocate for anti-pornography measures.
Budget, Tax Policy and Efficiency in Government
Utah continues to be named Best Managed State in America (The Pew Center on the States). Utah also continues to be one of few states with a AAA bond rating. Possibly the most important function of a legislator is to manage the state budget. Conservative forecasting allows government to be more efficient with taxpayer funds so that program and service cuts in the middle of the year can be avoided. I will continue to ensure that Utah government lives within its means.
Taxes are a sacred trust since they are taken involuntarily by force. Utah citizens should keep as much of their hard-earned money as possible. I spend hundreds of hours each year pouring over the state budget, prioritizing constitutional government services over other less important spending. I will continue to keep taxes low and limit government. It is especially important not to raise taxes in the middle of an economic recession.
Utah’s State Constitution specifies that every child will receive an education at taxpayer’s expense. Parents need to be in charge of their children’s education and should be involved day-to-day. Legislators must seek to fund and maintain quality student performance. 100% of state income tax goes to education. A significant amount of property tax goes to education. A portion of sales tax is allocated to education. All in all, about 50% of the state budget goes to education. Last year, in the face of a $650 million decrease in tax revenues, public education was spared the budget cutting of virtually every other department of state government. I will continue to prioritize education funding and student performance.
One of the constitutional duties of government is to provide for the common defense. All citizens have a right to a safe environment. Law enforcement needs adequate support and the necessary tools to fight crime. I will continue to support law enforcement’s efforts to protect citizens and apprehend criminals.
Personal integrity is important. The unseemly actions of a few legislators during the last year has reflected badly on them, but also on our institutions of government. You cannot legislate ethical behavior in elected office or in the public at large. Indeed, you must elect people who demonstrate integrity in their everyday lives. I will continue to put my constituents first in my decision making and remain consistent in my public and personal life.
Almost 70% of Utah is owned by the federal government. Whether its access to federal land, health care reform, or out of control spending, our federal government seeks to intrude on every aspect of our lives. The tenth amendment contains 28 important words. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” I will continue pushing back against unconstitutional attempts by the federal government to legislate in state and personal matters.
The rule of law must be followed with immigration like any other law. The Constitutional authority of the federal government on immigration is a tragic failure resulting in up to 20 million people illegally residing in America. States are left to deal with the challenges. Immigration should be legal, safe, orderly and humane. Immigrants who want to come to Utah should have greater opportunity to come legally, in a self-reliant manner. Law enforcement needs new tools to fight illegal immigration, while protecting legal, law abiding immigrants. I will continue to demand action from the federal government and will encourage cooperation from the feds as we try to address this issue at the state level. I am committed to find Utah solutions.
Just as the federal government has a tendency to overstep its bounds, so does state government. I will continue to work to allow cities flexibility to determine their own future with the input of their residents. And I will correct areas where the state has overstepped its appropriate role.