Issues & Priorities
Strong Fiscal Leadership
I volunteered to serve on Appropriations. With a degree in Accounting and Finance, and a career in leadership operations in rural hospitals and nursing homes, meeting with each department, agency, and bureau to discuss their goals and budget is a great way to use my talents in the committee process. I have a very good understanding what it takes to run an organization, so can use those skills to assist state supervisors to operate their areas effectively.
Supporting Government Transparency
After my first session, I was asked to serve as chair of the marijuana summer study. We met multiple times over the summer to address the new laws passed by the state’s voters, on IM26, medical marijuana, and Constitutional Amendment A – Adult Use Marijuana, Medical Marijuana, and Hemp. My role as chair was to determine what was appropriate to study and take testimony on, facilitate discussion, and bring recommendations to the legislature in the next session. In total, we brought twenty-three medical marijuana bills to improve the safety of this new industry in the state, to provide transparency of reporting, and improved patient/provider relationships related to medical marijuana use. Nineteen of the twenty-three were passed, during the 2022 legislative session, a successful outcome of the work of the summer study. There were two adult use bills also proposed, and those did not pass the session. After the legislative session, the cannabis industry completed a “scorecard” of cannabis votes by legislators. For any legislator votes for cannabis legislation the industry was supporting, they gave positive points, and if there was any legislator votes for cannabis legislation the industry opposed, they gave negative points. I received a score of 1 or a “C”. I view my role as chair of the committee to be very neutral and am very pleased with the scoring outcome!
Funding Critical Infrastructure
Most of the jails and prisons in the state were built between the 1950s and 1970s. As a result, the facilities in the state are close to useful life and replacement in in the county’s near future. Generally, no county wants to take out a loan or have increased taxes to build a new jail. There were several funding requests for county jails in the legislative session 2022. None were passed. In addition, there was a legislative jail/corrections summer study approved for the summer of 2022. Appropriators were able to put away $16.4M in a Jail Construction Fund in the FY2022 Supplemental Budget, and $70M in the FY23 Budget, for use after a plan is implemented following the summer study. Legislators will take the recommendations that come out of this summer study into the next legislative session to support the issues related to county prison concerns.
I consider myself a legislator with the goal of efficient and effective state operations. I value my role in state policy and appreciate your support for answering my questions related to the various industries and topics that come up regarding state policy. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you.