My decisions as a legislator will be guided by my commitment to integrity, civility, transparency, collaboration, and innovation. I believe that government has a limited, but essential role in protecting people and promoting the common good. Having a better balanced legislature (currently 78% Republican) will ensure more voices are heard, more checks and balances are in place, and our state laws and budget are subject to an appropriate level of scrutiny. I will be a strong advocate for government accountability and I'll ensure tax dollars are spent in ways that benefit all Utahns.
We live in a time characterized by growth and change. I will work everyday to ensure Utah has a strong and resilient economy that works for everyone. That means meeting people where they are and helping them move forward by enabling individuals and businesses to create opportunities, while maintaining safety nets to protect people when they need it.
I keep things as simple as possible, but no simpler...we are facing many complicated and interwoven challenges. We need to think holistically, engage in difficult conversations in transparent and respectful ways, and work together to meet those challenges.
Economy and Environment
Utah's economy and environment are inseparable. Our land, air, and water resources set the foundation for so many of the things that make Utah a wonderful place to live, visit, and do business. When we are not good stewards of our environment, it affects our health, our agricultural productivity, tourism and recreation, and our ability to attract new businesses to Utah. Many of our environmental assets have been degraded and are at risk of long-term damage because our legislature has not appreciated the close connection between our environment and economy. I will work to ensure we strengthen our economy in ways that improve our environment and natural resources for today and future generations.
Quality, Affordable Housing
The housing market in Utah is causing a lot of pain for people in lower and middle income brackets and the state legislature did far too little in 2022 to get the problem under control, providing only 20% of the funding requested by Governor Cox. Utah's housing problem is affected by some broader economic issues, but there is much more we can and should be doing to eliminate barriers to smart development, streamline and improve building codes, increase competition, and protect people in difficult situations. I have heard the concerns of Logan, River Heights, and Richmond citizens on this issue and will work hard to resolve these issues at the state level.
Education is the greatest investment we can make in our society, providing people with opportunities for stability, higher paying jobs, and self-dependency. Beyond providing the technical skills people need to succeed in jobs, a good education system helps people understand the world, helps them develop critical thinking skills and information literacy, helps people gain self-confidence, and enables people to become better, more productive members of society. I will advocate for increases in education funding at all levels, pre-K, K-12, community and technical colleges, and all universities throughout the state. Further, I will work to ensure that teachers, parents and students, not legislators, decide what gets taught in our classrooms.