Why are you the best person for the job?
As a small business owner, former Mayor and 8 years in the legislature I have the experience and knowledge to represent all of our constituents on the issues which are most important to them.
I have sponsored and successfully passed over 75 bills which have been recognized by 35 legislative awards ranging from no texting for teenagers, worker’s compensation and unemployment reforms, reducing the size of government, and supporting our local Cities, Towns and Counties.
With my background and years of experience, I have served on the following committees as either a chairman or committee member: Senate – Appropriations; Transportation; Finance and Insurance; Natural Resources. House – Transportation; Insurance; Municipal Government; Agriculture and Water.
If re-elected, I will continue to serve and move Arizona forward while finding solutions for water, infrastructure, immigration, and other important issues.
Do you support the teacher pay-raise plan passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey? Why or why not?
Yes. It is important that we continue to restore funding to all K-12 education and higher ed. Bringing our teacher’s and staff’s salaries up to acceptable levels is a good first start in addition to the monies we added to the classroom funds.
State funding for Arizona schools remains below pre-recession levels. How should the state address funding for its schools in next year’s budget? How would you pay for any increases?
While we can certainly improve education funding, it is important to note we are still coming out of a long and lengthy recession. It will take some time to gradually bring the funding back to pre-recession levels as our economy continues to improve. We have already extended the Prop 301 funding, passed the Prop 123 funding as well as adding another $650 million dollars to education funding over the next 3 years. Because of our booming economy, we have these monies available to pay for these increases.
Does Arizona do enough to require accountability and transparency for charter schools?
I believe we can do a better job by making sure there is basic accountability to our taxpayers to ensure the monies are being properly applied to education and the welfare of the students. I do not support adding burdoning regulations which would hinder the great job our charter schools are doing in Arizona. I would like to see less bureaucracy in our Public School system which will untie our teacher’s hands and allow them to actually teach and not be burdened with unnecessary paperwork and regulations.
Would you support stricter gun laws, including raising the minimum age to 21 for all gun purchases, banning bump stocks and universal background checks on gun sales between private parties?
No. I am an avid supporter of our 2nd amendment rights.
What should Arizona do to prevent mass shootings in schools?
We actually had a good school safety bill prepared and ready to pass the legislature this year which would add additional monies for school safety officers; more school councilors and overall improvement to the safety of our public institutions. Unfortunately politics got in the way and we will have to re-introduce the bill next session.
As a legislator, would you be inclined to support additional tax cuts for individuals or businesses? If so, which taxes would you like to see reduced?
Not all tax cuts are good or bad but rather should be evaluated on an individual basis. When tax cuts can increase our economic development and create jobs, that might be something to consider. If there is a tax cut which is only to benefit a small few but to the detriment of many, then that should be seriously evaluated. We currently have some tax exemptions on the books which should be looked at for re-evaluation which could help with the education funding shortage.
Should recreational marijuana use be legalized in Arizona? Why or why not?
NO. As a small business owner I have seen the effects and damage marijuana and other drugs are having on our workforce. Increased accidents; safety issues; increased absences from work are only a few of the bad effects marijuana and drugs are having. Working on highway construction projects, our companies require pre-employment drug testing to comply with federal and states laws. We are unable to fill the vacancies due to a shortage of workers who can pass a drug test and/or actually still have their drivers license due to past DUI’s.
Has Arizona taken the right approach by increasing restrictions on abortion providers and clinics? Why or why not?
Yes. I am a pro-life candidate. I do not support abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother. With the choices available to prevent pregnancies and the ability to take responsibility to prevent pregnancies, abortion should not be a form of birth control after the fact.
What should Arizona be doing to prepare for a potential water-shortage declaration on the Colorado River?
I have been involved with Arizona water issues for the past 25 years which has afforded me the opportunity to work closely with the experts in hydrology. While we continue to negotiate with federal, tribal and states water rights, I believe it’s important we continue to preserve and protect our existing water resources. I have introduced bills which support and encourage better water harvesting on macro and micro levels as well as desalination processes.
Would you support a statewide law that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public accommodations, such as restaurants and other businesses? Why or why not?
No one should ever be discriminated against for any reason. We are all human beings and we all deserve the respect of one another. If there is a law introduced, it would be extremely important to ensure it would not create unintended consequences whereby in an effort to protect some , it would not create a discrimination on others.
Would you support a statewide law to allow business owners and others to deny services to customers based on religious beliefs? Why or why not?
Yes but again, it would be important to ensure the law is written to avoid unintended consequences which would allow for illegal discrimination. It is important we protect our true religious freedoms without discriminating.
In terms of the economy, how can the Legislature best encourage sustainable growth that benefits people of all income levels?
Reduce the amount of regulation and bureaucracy which is hindering our small and large business owners. For every regulation passed it means one less job or raise for their employees. Sustainable growth also means ensuring we have adequate water supplies, infrastructure and smart growth planning which can be addressed at the legislative level.
Do you support further expanding the Empowerment Scholarship Account program, which provides state funding for private-school education?
I am a supporter of ESA’s and giving parents the choice to send their children to the best schools possible. I also believe the choice of private and charter schools should not be at the “expense” of public schools which is why I support the Governor’s 20x20x20 plan and to restore education funding for all schools.
What is your position on Proposition 305, the ballot measure that would repeal the Legislature’s 2017 expansion of the voucher program?
I voted yes and was a proponent of the 30,000 student cap which we put on the bill. Again, parental choice is a must but we need to make sure the funding level is there for all schools.
What role should Arizona play in helping the federal government secure the border with Mexico?
Arizona should do whatever we can to help the federal government secure our border. I am in favor of building the wall, whether it be physical, virtual or other methods. We cannot have a secure and safe country if we do not protect our borders. We cannot truly help those in need if we cannot determine who is safe to enter our country and who is not.
Is there an issue not mentioned about that you feel hasn’t received enough attention at the Capitol? How would you address it?
Since the day I arrived at the Capitol I have advocated for Arizona to have a “business plan”. I believe we need to look to the future to decide where we want Arizona to be in 20 or 30 years and then outline a legislative plan to get there. This should include water resources, infrastructure, growth as a statewide issue, our tax structure, healthy forest and a plethora of many other issues.
What is the greatest threat to Arizona’s future, and how would you address it?
Water resources and border security for all the reasons listed above.