Why are you a candidate for election to the House representing District 41 and what qualifications make you the best choice for this office? (250 words)
- I’m running to serve the people in the interests of House District 41. I can help make a difference. My record shows preparation, commitment and results. Public service as a Navy veteran. Proven leadership, business, education (BS Economics, MBA, MPA and CQA), CFO/Comptroller, accountability for budget planning and fiscal management experience in both public and private sector. Completed a graduate coursework in management at Naval Postgraduate School, including financial, public budget planning and fiscal management.
- We have a state budget crisis. People very concerned about their jobs, income, families and children. Many people I’ve listened to going door to door have expressed serious concerns about the state budget crisis, especially the unknown impact on their livelihood, including ability to pay for living expenses, healthcare and education costs.
- Less state money available to cities and towns. Not only is local infrastructure impacted but our roads are terrible and getting worse. Federal intrusiveness and overreach (EPA, etc.) on coal leases. Lower natural gas price, lower demand for coal, combined with unwarranted EPA regulations.
- Excessive, costly state regulations and over-auditing act as impediments to growing business. We’re known as a business friendly state, but we can do better.
- I want to help win the fight for our future. As a positive advocate working to ensure people’s voices in district are heard well represented and concerns resolved in interests of our community where people choose to live, work and raise families.
What is the top three issues the state faces and how do you propose to address each? (650 words)
State Budget Crisis:
- We have a budget crisis. Our penitentiary needs structural repairs again. State government costs more than CREG revenue receipts estimated.
- Diversify state revenue resources. We need a viable plan to use and maintain our LSRA (rainy day fund).
- Reduce cost of our state and local government (consolidate, eliminate duplication, reduce transportation/travel and cut back number of planes/vehicles is a start)
- Stop wasting money. Procedures needed to assure all state funds are expended only for specified purpose. Example: WYDOT distributed $279M to cities and towns for road maintenance and repair – only $70M used for roads.
- Only a few months out of a legislative budget session and our Governor is calling for large, impactful budget cuts – how does that happen? We need to get our state financial house in order.
- Extend state and local government budget planning horizon. Develop and use more accurate metrics for budget planning. Assign realistic and objective spending priorities. Reduce discretionary spending.
- Ramp up portion of fourth penny allocated to cities/towns.
- Leverage technology. Avoid over cutting into state’s core, experienced employee skills corpus. Resolve issues with broadband connectivity. Develop new coal uses as feedstock (activated carbon production).
- Eliminate costly, unnecessary state regulations, over-auditing and impediments to growing business.
- Develop alternative energy markets. Export kilowatts along with natural resources.
Providing access to affordable healthcare:
- I’m looking forward to a discussion that assists people who need help. Support a solution to state Medicaid program that continues to be well run and cost-effectively administered.
- Issue is access to affordable healthcare. Having health insurance does not guarantee access to healthcare. $1,700 per month insurance premium for a $20,000 deductible threshold is not affordable, nor practicable over long run. We need to increase competition in health insurance.
- I’ve met with key decision makers – we need a solution – let’s look closer at SHARE (resolve problem last session of work requirement negating receipt of Medicaid funds – find a work around - engage support from our congressional delegation).
- To properly plan to fund a program like Medicaid, we need to know total amount of sate funds that are going to be needed to pay the state share. Other states are going broke – we don’t want that for Wyoming, especially with lower state revenues with degrading state infrastructure.
Promote quality education, vocational and technical training.
- Work to find alternative sources of funding to maintain our schools, including a plan and funding new school construction projects.
- Continue progress to update, develop, review and approve new learning standards. Remove political bias and rhetoric from discussions on educational learning objectives and standards.
- Continue to bring establishment of education standards under local control.
- Parents know best for their children.
- Backpack education funding with each student.
- Resolve problems with students graduating from UW not ready to teach.
- Resolve root causes of our students graduating from high school unable to read, write and do math.