Budget: Arizona’s government spending, like most other states and the Federal government, has far outpaced normal revenue growth. If not for raising taxes and sweeping money from funds set-aside for other responsibilities, the state would be close to bankrupt. We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. If we could cut real spending, not just the growth of programs, and increase revenue by creating a positive business environment, we can be the bright spot in a world of irresponsible spending.
Education: Spending on education has grown over the past 20 years to the highest levels in state history and is the largest single expenditure in the state budget. Yet the testing of students show that outputs are unchanged or worse. There are many reasons for this, but one of the biggest is the slow takeover of education by the State and Federal government. The idea that some government education expert knows what is better for your child than you or your local governing board is holding back our schools. I will move our schools back to the local level. I also support charter schools, vouchers, and tax credits.
Foster Care: Children in the foster care system have the State standing in for their parents. Most, if not all, come from very sad situations and many have been irreparably harmed. We can do more for them. We must find ways to incentivize our culture toward helping these most vulnerable children. It is too simple to say that all that is needed is more money. There are good and worthy people at every level of the system, but there are also many who lose their way and with no one to take their place, the system can be as harmful as some of the homes these children come from. I have introduced new laws that help foster care children get in to the State Universities, giving them a chance for a better life. I think we can find ways to improve the whole system.
Illegal Immigration: We are a country of immigrants and a state of migrants. We are a welcoming people and culture. But there are some rules; like the family that loves its neighbors but still has a fence around the yard and locks on the doors, because they want to say who comes in and why. It was my bill that would have used the National Guard troops to close the border, but was vetoed by Governor Napolitano. If we continue to make it harder to participate in our economy without proper documentation, more will self deport. We still need to make an effort to close our border.
Jobs: Arizona has been a growth state since WWII, for many reasons including that we have been a state where it is easy to set up shop, find good employees, and move goods and services with ease. In the recent past our government has elevated the amount of regulation and business taxes to deal with problems that mostly do not exist. In a short time we will lose our allure and just be another high tax state. We need to make it easier to be in business here, through lower taxes, regulations that add value, and a licensing process that is fast and inexpensive. We can keep and attract the best of jobs if we avoid trying to control everything that business does.