Fighting for our values
for all Arizonans.
Protecting the Vulnerable
All too often, the needs of the weakest among us are ignored because they aren’t tied to lucrative special interest contracts and other power-brokers in government. These are the voices I have sought to bring with me into the State Senate. Who are these voices? Foster children who lack representation and go missing with no one invested in their recovery; the seriously mentally ill who slip through the cracks of our broken system; chronic pain patients who suffer needlessly without the medications they need due to wrongheaded policies.. Among the most vulnerable and at-risk are preborn children. Speaking up for life as a citizen advocate was my path to getting into politics in the first place. Since then, I’ve introduced dozens of bills protecting the right to life, including SB1457 (protecting preborn children with disabilities like Down Syndrome) which is now making its way through the courts. I’m proud of the work I’ve done to reform our mental health system so that it no longer ignores the needs of the sickest individuals with SMI by heartlessly offloading them onto someone else’s budget – only to become sicker in jails, prison and on the streets. That broken system is slowly being replaced by the appropriately-directed resources and accountability I’ve fought for to improve the lives of those with disabilities in state care.
Strong Communities, Back the Blue
Arizonans desire – and rightly expect – to come home to a safe neighborhood free from crime and the presence of drugs, with strong law enforcement ready to answer their call if needed. Sadly, we’re seeing a trend toward policies that are weak on crime, a dangerous attitude towards enforcement perpetuated by media and activists, and a porous Southern border teeming with drugs and trafficking. These are not the ingredients for safety. While the majority of border policy falls on the shoulders of the federal government, the legislature has a support role to play in allocating funding for border barriers and law enforcement and passing policies that are tough on crime. How is that accomplished? For example, I voted to withhold state funds from sanctuary cities, led on regulations to discourage hiring of illegal immigrants, and voted to make illegal reentry a felony and to prohibit city IDs for illegal immigrants. We need to look strongly at a Texas-style approach to finishing the border wall with state funds – a significant savings when you consider the costs of illegal immigration to the state – and allocate resources to cracking down on the drugs and trafficking coming across the border.
Parents and families are best suited to direct the care, education, and upbringing of their children and their right to do so is enshrined in law. But over the last year, the government’s disdain (often through school boards) for the role of parents has been made clear and awakened an army of parents to take back their rights. We can’t trust education bureaucrats to respect the role of parents, so we must use the law to insist that they do – through transparency in curriculum and halting the teaching of sensitive and divisive subjects like Critical Race Theory and gender identity ideology that are better handled by families. Over the coming sessions, I’m intent on putting tangible tools in the hands of parents so they can be engaged in their children’s education in real-time, as often as they would like. Time to shine a light on our education system.
Every child is unique and in education, one-size doesn’t fit all. And with too many of our public schools being forced by education unions and leftist activists to focus on CRT and gender ideology over the basics our kids need for life, many families are rightly looking elsewhere. Arizona is a leader in school options and has been for over 20 years. But we still have so far to go. Too many families with low-incomes or failing school districts aren’t aware they even have options! And it can be very difficult to actually access them when they do become aware. It’s time we extend ESA eligibility to more families and ensure dollars follow the student. Whatever the education option, families are in the best position to make that choice.
Arizonans don’t have confidence that their vote will count. In 2021, the Senate’s audit of Maricopa County uncovered troubling loopholes and weaknesses in our system that have been exploited by election officials more concerned with furthering a political agenda than carrying out their role as defined. It’s time to close those loopholes – one by one – and for good! There are fixes to be made to every stage of the process, from cleaning voter rolls and ensuring agencies are forced to share actionable data to limiting the often-abused “emergency voting centers,” ending unsecure dropboxes, and requiring voter ID (a measure which has broad public support across the political spectrum).
Ending COVID-19 Mandates
Employees shouldn’t have to choose between their health freedom and their livelihood. Children shouldn’t be forced to mask to attend in-person classes. These ideas would have seemed laughably simple just a few years ago. Today, they are the subject of hot debate as the left and overbearing bureaucracy use fear to control our lives. Individuals, patients, children, and businesses are paying the price. I support ending all mandates and restricting the near-unlimited authority that has been permitted under “state of emergency” declarations. Individuals, not government, should be making these long-term decisions for their families.
Strong Business Climate
We know the recipe for a strong economy. It hasn’t changed. Low taxes and regulations, and investment in a prepared and educated workforce. When we’ve followed it, we’ve built Arizona into an economy that is the envy of much of the U.S. – and has blue state-dwellers fleeing our direction. In 2021, I joined the effort to pass one of the biggest tax cuts in Arizona history. But, as we saw with the passage of Prop 208, it’s all too easy for the left to sneak in debilitating tax increases that are cumbersome to undo. And between mandates and the overbearing hand of D.C. regulators, we have our work cut out for us to keep Arizona a state where business and families can thrive economically.