— 1. What did you do to help with the Utah 2019 Tax Referendum? —
I encouraged constituents and friends to sign the referendum and informed them of locations where they could sign.
— 2. What is your position of taxes on food and gasoline? —
I am opposed to any tax on food, but think they should be some kind of tax on gasoline to be used solely for road repair and upkeep.
— 3. What if any taxes would you implement on services and why? —
I am reluctant to see taxes on any services. Who is qualified to pick winners and losers? The tax reform task force found that out very quickly. No matter which services were selected, those affected had arguments, many valid, of how it would negatively affect their business. It became apparent that the ones who had the most powerful (and expensive) lobbyists were the ones taken off the list and those who didn’t stayed. The result was clearly inequitable.
— 4. Many Utahns felt that after the town halls and committee meetings that the legislative tax task force held throughout 2019 that their concerns were not heard and that special interests wielded too much influence. On the other hand, many legislators felt that the people didn’t understand the issue or the solutions that they put forth. If elected, how would you respond to the concerns and issues that your constituents bring to you and how would you educate them on the issues you are dealing with? —
First, I would take their concerns seriously by providing the data and rationale for the proposed solutions. Many people felt their concerns were ignored or dismissed by some task force members with comments like “It’s very complicated” implying that the public weren’t capable of understanding. By contrast, I have always tried to respond honestly, provide information, admit when I don’t have answers and reach out to someone who does. Legislators have many resources from our highly qualified staff of attorneys, policy and fiscal analysts who are available and eager to help us answer constituents’ questions and provide data.
— 5. Are you willing to vote against bills that legislative leadership wants you to support even when threatened with losing coveted committee positions, having your legislation held hostage, etc? Explain —
Yes, I am. Yes I have. I could cite many examples, but I prefer to say that I vote for bills that I believe will benefit my constituents and all Utahns. Similarly, I vote against bills for the same reason, bills that will harm, as well as bills that are in opposition to my core values, and contrary to my oath to uphold the Utah Constitution and the Constitution of the United States.
— 6. Are you in favor of the Utah School Income Tax Constitutional Amendment that will be voted on in November? Why or not? —
No. It doesn’t offer a guarantee on how much legislators could take from education to use for children and adults with disabilities. The proposed budget cuts to education that will inevitably occur should make it clear that the “bargain” Republicans made with education stakeholders shouldn’t be honored if they don’t make their own commitments and put them in statute to prove their commitment.
— 7. Name one reason you are the best candidate for the position you signed for. —
Since I have been elected ten times, I believe I must be honoring the commitments I have made to my constituents. If not, I would have been voted out of office by now. I have had some formidable opponents and have always actively campaigned, walked and talked to thousands of people at their doors, responded to calls and emails from constituents, provided excellent constituent services with minimal staff assistance. I’m not afraid of criticism, I’m empathetic, and a good listener. My communication style stems from many years of teaching high school English. To be a successful teacher you must excel at communicating, listening, conflict resolution, and problem solving. The same qualities apply to being an effective legislator. With experience comes wisdom and the skills to be effective, in part because of the relationships and alliances I have built on both sides of the aisle.
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