1. (250 words) Why are you a candidate for election to the House representing District 9 and what qualifications make you the best choice for this office?
I believe civic engagement is at the core of a strong community. I value the opportunities our nation has given us to be a part of the process in how we shape and develop our State. I am running because Wyoming needs new leaders to move this state forward. Our state needs a new vision and a more diverse economy. We need to attract new businesses, encourage entrepreneurship, and harness our great business environment. My education and work experience have provided me a strong foundation in private and public sector knowledge – knowledge that can be used to serve the citizens of the State of Wyoming to improve the economy and increase the efficiency of government. I am the only candidate for this position that can call Wyoming my home state and District 9 my home district. We need people with ties to the community like mine to fight for our constituents every single day.
I announced my candidacy for House District 9 because I want to make a difference. I believe it’s time for a change in who represents our state. I have a strong foundation of customer service skills and when it comes to our elected officials, we need the best customer service we can ask for. I want to work for the people of Wyoming, not the other way around.
I grew up in Wyoming, I have Wyoming values, and I know House District 9. I will bring the voice of HD 9 community to Wyoming’s House Floor.
2. (650 words) What are the top three issues the state faces and how to you propose to address each?
This is not a boom and bust cycle. This is the time for Wyoming to strategically change the way we do business. The fall in our natural resources should be an awakening to our government officials that we need to diversify our economy.
We need to reinvest in our local communities and make them business ready. We will not be able to attract businesses to our state if our communities are not ready to accept new businesses. I propose utilizing rainy day funds to reinvest in our community infrastructure and create business friendly communities that are enticing to our future employers.
We must also work directly with the University of Wyoming and determine why 50% of our graduates are leaving our state for employment in other states. I will personally call these businesses and ask them what it will take for them to open a door in Wyoming. I will propose that all of our elected officials take this lead and start calling these businesses immediately. We invest far too much in our children’s future in Wyoming to let other states gain the knowledge and benefit from Wyoming’s graduates.
Size and Scope of Work from Government –
From this point forward it will be imperative for Wyoming and all of the counties and municipalities to examine the functional role of government. We have recently seen the decline in revenues for state and local communities. This means that we will all have to work together, become more efficient and provide the goods and services that our citizens depend on. It will be critical that our governments look to reduce waste, enhance efficiency, and reduce bureaucracy.
We must work together to find the nexus between providing the goods and services that are required and those that we wish to fulfill through special appropriations. It will be my objective to look into the budgets and determine the inputs (money and time) that we are funding and determine if the outputs and outcomes are acceptable. If programs are not meeting the expectations that are defined, then we have discussions surrounding the future of these programs and their necessity to our citizens.
Our communities are currently struggling to maintain their infrastructure. It will be my goal to reexamine the revenue models for local municipalities. Our communities need to have more control over their funding levels than they currently do. I believe we must explore reducing the dependency of municipalities on state assistance. This will give more control to our local governing bodies and reduce the amount of bureaucracy that is it takes to move our state forward.
Medicaid Expansion –
I am in in favor of expanding Medicaid in Wyoming under the following restrictions: 1. If the federal government ever declines to pay their portion of the funding, Wyoming has the opportunity to opt out of future expansion; 2. We must have the funds to cover the expansion costs within the current budget that can be re-appropriated. I have reservations on expanding Medicaid in Wyoming, but through my research and my discussions with those involved in the development of the proposed bills through the last 2 sessions, I am in favor of this topic.
If your health insurance rates went up or you went to the doctor in the past two years, you have inadvertently funded Medicaid expansion. Unfortunately, you funded the expansion for another state. Our state has a fiscal and moral responsibility to the people of Wyoming. I believe expanding Medicaid is the right thing to do as it will enhance our communities’ ability to attract businesses, and to keep educated graduates, by keeping hospitals open in small communities, and keeps Wyoming citizens employed.
Medicaid has been discussed and studied. It is time to take action. I believe we should continue to keep a watchful eye on this topic, but it is fiscally irresponsible to continue to leave money on the table.