I believe that having a great public education system should be a high priority for all of us. Here are a few things I believe the legislature can do to make the school system better:
Encourage a system where parents know what is being taught to their children and have good alternatives available so they can help find what works best for their own family.
Be mindful of, and seek to reduce, the administrative burden that bureaucracy places upon our teachers.
Strive to make sure that the career of being a teacher pays enough and is attractive enough that we can attract and retain a talented teacher workforce.
I have organized an in-person visit to a school in my district at least once a year for every year I have been in office to make sure I am hearing from those on the front lines.
GOOD ECONOMY - LOW TAXES
Utah has done better than most states over these recent years of the pandemic. We are one of only 8 states with more jobs available today than when the COVID pandemic started. An important contributor to that has been our emphasis on keeping businesses open and running even when times were difficult. It is clear that our economy does best when we keep taxes low and fair and when we keep regulations low and fair. I am happy to have been a supporter of the tax cuts that we passed in 2021 and again in 2022, and I was one of the few Republicans who opposed the plan a few years ago that would have increased the sales tax on food.
Making changes to our water usage habits and to our water usage laws is a top priority. We have now had several years in a row of lower than average snowfall during the winter and our reservoirs are at their lowest levels in many years. If we have a hot, dry summer, the water level at Glen Canyon Dam might stop producing power at the end of the summer for the first time since the lake filled up. I am proud of the work that the legislature did in the 2022 session to allow for more sensible usage of water and to increase the amount that can ultimately flow downstream so that we can retain the Great Salt Lake. I have worked hard to find ways that our local irrigation district can find ways to fund the installation of secondary water meters with a minimum of cost to the end users.
Unlike the Federal Government, we balance our state budget every year. Being fiscally responsible means honestly saving aside enough money to meet our obligations in our pension funds and setting some money aside in good years to be able to keep basic services and responsibilities functioning in bad years. As a fiscal conservative, I have taken seriously my responsibility to find ways to make the state more efficient and have made changes to the state's Medicaid program that are currently saving the state millions of dollars per year in taxpayer money, while also providing better services.