As I've knocked on doors, held Zoom meetings, and events in the parks across District 53, Utahns have told me repeatedly that they are exhausted by the hyper-partisanship they see in their neighborhoods and communities. Let's set aside the polarization we see nationally, and embrace our shared Utah values.
Now, more than ever, it is critical that each and every person in Utah has access to high quality, affordable healthcare. Unfortunately, there are still major gaps in who has access to healthcare in Utah, how quickly they can get care, and its affordability. Those gaps need to be closed. A good first step would be to fully implement the expansion of Medicaid approved by Utah's voters in 2018. We need robust outreach to those people who are covered by the expansion and we need to improve emergency access to providers, prescriptions and services. As we work through our response to the pandemic, let's not lose focus on those most vulnerable in our communities.
It's a mystery to me how we can love our kids so much, and yet, Utah seems to always rank dead last in education funding among all the states. Our teachers are phenomenal, out there working for our families, every day. It's time we stepped up and worked to get them the compensation and classroom resources they need to continue their extraordinary work. Our legislature needs to prioritize our kids in the state budget like we prioritize them at home.
As a mother and a senior corporate manager, fiscal responsibility was a necessary part of my daily life. Now, I'm retired, living off the investment savings that my husband and I have accumulated over the last few decades of work. We pay taxes to the County, State and Federal government. I truly believe that each of these entities has enough revenue to meet their needs and provide an appropriate level of service. Taxes do not need to go up. With careful attention to detail and proper prioritization and accountability, it can be done.
Growth & Affordable Housing
I love our rural lifestyle and I'd like to protect it. Growth may be inevitable along the Wasatch Back and Uinta Mountains. But the state legislature should support, and not try to circumvent the great work being done by our county and city planning commissions to manage that growth in a way that preserves our lifestyle and open spaces.
Along with that growth, affordability has suffered in many places. Rents and housing prices are simply out of reach for our working families. Shout out to Habitat for Humanity, and other public/private partnerships providing access to housing for our workforce.
I'm an oil company engineer. I've lived and worked through half a dozen booms/busts in countries around the world. I've built pipelines and flow stations in Red Wash and decommissioned tanks in Bluebell/Altamont. It's tough to deliver much needed energy products, safely and with respect for our communities and the environment - especially when prices are falling. But we do it. The state needs to recognize all our rural workers - in energy, agriculture, ranching and ensure that economic development efforts are prioritized to meet their needs.