I am proud to be a thirty year resident of Wyoming and HD9! I ran for HD9 in 2014 and at that time, wanted to turn years of volunteer work in Cheyenne into a position where I would be able to help even more. I have always felt that it is so important to give back to your community and to try to make it better. I have had leadership positions in a variety of organizations and spent considerable time, mentoring youth and helping out in schools. This year, the same is true, but I was disappointed by the lack of consideration for our families and citizens in need in the last legislative session. There has also been a lack of vision for the future for our state. Those prompted my candidacy in 2016.
There are many big issues facing our state which have not been addressed adequately. I believe that it is better to plan and be proactive than to simply react to problems. New, thoughtful voices and ideas are needed in the legislature and with my experience and involvement in the community, I feel that I am the best candidate for House of Representatives in District 9. I plan on being a real, honest and hard working legislator who will listen to my neighbors, communicate with them and always do the research and thinking to consider all ideas to do the right thing for Wyoming and its citizens.
There are many issues facing the state and residents of Wyoming. They will all need attention and consideration. With that said, the main issues of concern for myself and the many of my neighbors in HD9 are the passage of Medicaid Expansion, diversifying the economy, which includes our financial situation and high quality jobs and social services for those in need. Education is also a very
important issue, which I am passionate about and will be included in the discussion on diversifying the economy.
These issues were not addressed well in the past legislative session. Either little was accomplished, or the move was backward as with the budget cuts. This all goes back to a lack of vision. If cuts are needed, they should not be across the board, with education and social safety net services being supported more strongly.
Medicaid Expansion in the state is a must and will be the first issue that I will address in the Legislature. There are an estimated 20,-000 citizens who cannot obtain health care, even though many are working. This is a burden on them as well as hospitals. Passing medicaid Expansion would allow those citizens to have health insurance, bring in millions of dollars to the state and even create jobs. Let's diversify the economy. This has been talked about for many years, and in most locations, there have been minimal results. This is in a state ranked near the top nationally for being business friendly. Coal production and availability has been diminishing along with its business and revenues. This is where new revenue streams will have to explored to make up the difference and the benefits that have resulted. It is a difficult issue and should have been addressed years ago in the legislature. I believe a stronger shift to renewable energy would help. I believe research on transmission of the energy produced as well as solar permitting laws and setting goals for both production and use of renewable energy would be very beneficial. Those changes would encourage renewable energy production, use and could bring new companies into our state. The University of Wyoming should be a center for renewable energy research and Wyoming could become a national leader in renewable energy.
Other ideas to consider are; making our entire educational system world class, quality infrastructure including roads, bridges and availability of Internet and cell service. We would have a more skilled workforce and will quality infrastructure, would become more business friendly and ready. Both would attract business.
Finally, the state would benefit from an emphasis on quality of life. Investing in our cities to make them livable, exciting places to live and work for our young people. In addition, our state parks should be adequately funded and attract for young people and business.
Often, funding programs for those in need are affected first by budget cuts in financially difficult times. This is unacceptable in Wyoming. Adequate funding for education, including early childhood and literacy programs, tax assistance to the low income and elderly and programs that aid the disabled are just some of the social services that are so important. Creating trust funds for these programs would be one way to provide adequate and consistent funding for the future. In our nation and state, there is no excuse to make sure everyone has opportunities to thrive.
This is a critical time for our state. I believe that we do have opportunities in Wyoming, but perhaps we have been too set in the past and the way things have been done to have the vision to take advantage of them.