Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
The 2015 Legislative Session begins this coming Monday. It will be challenging, as we build a budget that reflects the values of the people of our state and district and prioritizes jobs, education and responsible spending. I will focus my efforts on policies that make our state more prosperous with better educational opportunities and abundant jobs.
It is an honor to serve as your state senator.
20th District Senator
This year, in addition to serving on the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications committee, I will serve as vice-chair of three committees: Trade and Economic Development, Commerce and Labor, and Ways and Means. I also have the honor of serving as the Senate Deputy Majority Leader.
My Priorities for 2015
Our state must prioritize its investments to produce the best results for citizens. We need better educational opportunities and outcomes as well as a business climate that lets companies create jobs and compete without onerous regulatory burdens. I am working on a variety of issue areas including access to affordable college education, fairness in our tax system, job creation and investing in our state’s water resources and infrastructure.
My approach to solving the problems that face our state is to use common sense and participate in a healthy debate on the issues. In light of the governor’s recent budget proposal, we have a lot to do to insure that citizens are getting the best from their government. Although we face significant pressure to fully fund basic education, we need to invest wisely in programs that produce results for our students. The reality is that more money is available for budgeting in 2015-2017 – nearly $3 billion in revenue growth – than in the previous (2013-2015) budget cycle. I believe this is sufficient to maintain current state government programs and make the necessary investments in basic education required by current law and by the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, without additional taxes.
Meeting the McCleary requirements to fully fund basic education will be challenging because we do have other obligations. However, the challenge is not insurmountable. With necessary reforms to how our state conducts business, we can find cost-savings, protect tax-payers and invest in a brighter future for students.