Growing our economy
Building a strong and diverse economy is key to the future of our state’s communities, including Jackson. Sometimes our tourism-based economy here in Jackson can seem a world away from the rest of Wyoming, yet our community is directly affected by changes in economic conditions in the state and budget decisions made in Cheyenne. And conversely, Jackson Hole’s economy, particularly our growing technology sector, can help lead and contribute to a better future for all of Wyoming.
We need the courage to grow beyond our roots as an extraction state and make our economy relevant to modern times so that our children can use their talents without having to leave their communities. We also need to reform our tax structure so our state is capable of benefiting from the industries of the future instead of relying exclusively on those from our past.
In our current economic downturn I have been a strong proponent of cutting unnecessary expenditures, but never at the expense of the critical services that our people rely on.
Upholding excellence in education
Both of my kids are products of the public school system in Teton County. Like you, I take pride in the excellent education that students can get here. Holding high standards for education is a tradition of The Cowboy State. Equal access to quality education for all students is written into the Wyoming constitution. Even so, it has been under attack since our economic downtown began, and consistent cuts have been made each Legislative Session. Cutting funding for education is not the answer to our budget concerns, and I promise to continue my unwavering voting record against such propositions.
All students who attend our public schools should leave being prepared for success in the 21st Century. Along with strong funding, we also need to keep developing curriculum in STEM and computer science. Money should not be a barrier to getting a good education, especially for motivated students. I’ve been a passionate supporter of the Hathaway Scholarship which makes higher education more accessible to all Wyoming students. In addition, I’ve supported expansion of alternative post-secondary options through community colleges, most recently by securing funding for our own expansion here in Jackson. A wide range of quality education options leads to a more diverse workforce and better economy.
Investing in our wildlife and open space
Wyoming’s endless alpine terrain, cold trout streams, and sweeping open vistas set it apart. The opportunity to be outside is what drew many of us here, and this resource is highly valued among our residents, no matter what part of the state you call home. Public lands are an essential part of Wyoming’s culture, character, and the future of our economy. I am a dedicated conservationist and stand committed to making science-based decisions that ensure our lands’ scenic, recreational, and economic values are maintained for generations to come. Tourism is just beginning to blossom in other parts of the state and will be an essential tool in diversifying our economy. Strong Teton County representation can help lead us there.
Creating access to healthcare
All people deserve access to to affordable, quality healthcare, including mental healthcare. Our communities need to have healthcare services that support everyone. Health care costs can not be a barrier to people getting the service they need. I have always been an advocate for underserved populations in our communities and believe that all people have equal access to affordable, quality healthcare, including mental healthcare.
Providing the people of Wyoming access to affordable, quality primary and mental healthcare is an essential responsibility of the State. Not only is this economically beneficial, but the well being of our citizens is the base for creating a society that provides opportunities for everyone to have a meaningful place throughout their lives.
I’ve been a strong champion of bringing comprehensive healthcare options to our residents, both in Teton County at at our State’s Capital. Last year, I was able to add funding to suicide prevention, despite having little room in our state budget. I also worked with Republican colleagues to pass and get funding for palliative care, which gives our aging populations more options to make better decisions related to chronic pain and terminal illness for both the patient and their families.
Beginning with my time as a Teton County Commissioner I have focused on providing comprehensive healthcare options, both in Teton County and throughout the State. Ranging from prenatal care to suicide prevention and palliative care, I have worked closely with my colleagues of both parties to make sure the funding is available for these critical services.