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What's Facing the Legislature?

As I see things there are three big issues facing Wyoming: (1) dealing with the large reduction in revenues, (2) getting education on track, and (3) ensuring that Wyoming does not seek a tax increase as a fix for the revenue problems.

Making these things happen means HD 22 must have a powerful Republican voice.

Wyoming's revenues projected in the CREG report (April 2016 update) are starkly declining.

A recent "front door" conversation highlighted the powerful desire people have for leaders who share a sense of responsibility to the people. Leaders who carry the sense of the people back to Cheyenne and then act on that. Walking and talking was the essence of how I've done business as a leader in the Navy and that is a key element of what I've done in speaking up these past years in legislative committee hearings.

The essence of the recent Presidential Primary season is frustration of voters with business as usual politicians who say one thing at home and perform differently in Washington or Cheyenne. Frequently they use phrases such as "common sense" and yet are just pushing an agenda. The core of my Active Duty Service was listening to my people and then incorporating what I heard into my actions. That is my commitment to you, the voters of HD-22.

Empty rhetoric and harsh conservatism won't get us through. Only hard nosed work will do.

I'm running because I get things done!

My opponent proposes to be common sense, yet legislation proposed by my opponent has gone nowhere and the amendments to bills offered on the floor have been notable in the lack of republican support when they came to a vote.

The 12 years I've spent observing our legislature have given me an ability to work with the system and get things done. One must make the case for something by speaking to the current need and to what the future will bring. I have done so.

The picture to the left above is from two young ladies in Cheyenne a few years ago. I came upon their 'Yard Sale' and they were selling pictures they had painted. This is one of them. This is inquisitiveness, inventiveness and gumption in these young ladies. Many things, like family, directly contribute to these characteristics, but a good set of classroom teachers goes a long way too.

A common question one hears campaigning is 'What programs will you cut?'

I object to the pay raises the Governor gave to his staff not so long ago... So I'd begin there.

In reducing a budget one has to recognize that there is maybe 10% flexibility. In essence  probably 75% of a budget has little ability to be cut since it is things like heat, lights, school buses & fuel, other infrastructure, etc, you get the idea. The next 15% has some flexibility but not a lot, it's things like operating school cafeterias. The flexibility then comes within that last 10% of a budget.

But in the end, the revenue reductions to be faced are larger than that 10%. We're getting into cutting bone.

I think the better approach is to speak to what will be protected. I will seek to protect Law Enforcement, then Fire Fighters & EMS, then Education. Education is the future of Wyoming's economy and it begins with those in the front line: teachers.

Administrators can be effectively reduced, in my observation when the supervisory part of a system starts ballooning failure is the reason. Cutting teaching positions (unless as a result of fewer students) usually means increasing class size (it wasn't so long ago that the legislature mandated a reduced class size...). If we are to cut education we first take a hard look at the size of administration.

 

 

 

 

 


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