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Stimulate Economic Growth:
My goal is to support efforts that create an environment for economic success. I oppose cronyism and government choosing winners and losers. My economic development efforts are focused on the establishment of a fair and stable tax code. I am also committed to our workforce, our infrastructure, and our quality of life. Utah is one of the premier business destinations in the country. Thanks to our legislature’s solid conservative approach, Utah's economy is stronger than ever. But to retain this advantage, we must invest in our existing and future workforce so that we can meet the growing demands of businesses. Another focus of mine is ensuring our communities are providing a smooth flow of business and people through wise infrastructure development. We must keep pace with our state’s incredible growth.
Uphold Responsible Tax Stewardship
I’m a small business owner, so I recognize the challenges Utah’s local businesses confront. Utah is continually ranked at the top or near the top of as the best states for business. But if we rest on our laurels we will fall behind. I strongly believe in the broad base principle of tax policy. We will continue to look at ways to address inequities that exist in the tax code. For taxes to work, everyone needs to have skin in the game, but it must be reasonable and take into account proportionality. I pledge to continue to improve Utah’s tax code by promoting a simple, equitable, and transparent tax system that supports families and businesses, rather than stifles them.
Protect Air Quality
Our state's geography offers stunning landscapes and outdoor amenities, but it also brings inherent challenges for our air quality. One of the biggest culprits of our bad air problem is tailpipe emissions. I support alternative fuels such as natural gas as a method of reducing emissions. During the 2013 Session, I championed three-part legislation that provides a way for school districts to convert their buses to CNG; allows Utah to band together with other states to make bulk purchases of factory produced CNG vehicles; and helps fund the construction of more natural gas fueling stations available for state fleets, school districts, commercial vehicles, and private consumers.In addition to these efforts, most recently, I sponsored legislation that encourages our state’s oil refineries to produce and sell low sulfur, tier 3 fuel in the state by 2020. There is no silver bullet for solving the air quality challenges, but the efforts we have made so far will help move Utah in the right direction toward cleaner air and you have my commitment that this issue will continue to be a major focus for me.
Maintain Government Accountability
Our state continues to win national awards for our conservative and fiscally responsible approach to government. But even with our successes, we can always do better. I remain committed to studying ways to use taxpayer dollars more efficiently and where possible look for opportunities to save taxpayer dollars. Ultimately, I am accountable to you my constituents and that I am doing all I can to make sure you know the legislature is spending your tax dollars appropriately.
Ensure Quality Education
Smart Investments: I have had the privilege of growing up in Davis County and attending some of the finest public schools in our state. As a father of four, I am proud of our education system, it has served my family well. I remain fully committed to doing everything I can to ensure each child in our education system is provided the highest quality education. Our children and their educational needs are a top priority when deciding how to spend taxpayer dollars. Over the last few years at the legislature, we have made a big push toward evidence-based decision-making. By doing this, we can ensure that Utah provides the best educational outcomes possible with the limited resources available. Together, we can work to ensure that our state continues to lead the country in educating our children.
UPSTART: I have been a longtime champion of Utah’s UPSTART program, an early education initiative targeted toward individualized reading, mathematics and science curriculum. As a result of UPSTART, the State Office of Education found that children who have used the program have been two to three times more prepared to enter kindergarten than those who have not. UPSTART provides critical and economically efficient tools to parents and educators. I will continue to support programs like UPSTART because they are an excellent option for low-income families, rural families, and parents who would prefer to help their children learn their pre-K skills at home.
Parent Choice: We all know that even in the same families, children are very unique and have different needs. My goal is to create an education environment best suited for each child. This means allowing parents and teachers the freedom to meet each student on their level with the best resources and methods available.
Preserve Freedom & Liberty
Utah will continue to navigate difficult questions at the boundary of religious freedom and gay rights. I believe that legislative negotiations are a more effective vehicle for properly protecting values instead of waiting for judicial decisions. I also believe we can obtain the proper balance. Protecting religious liberty is possible, but will involve advancing gay rights, not seeking to defeat them. As the sponsor of the bills that formed the Utah Compromise in 2015, we were able to accomplish both of these goals effectively. Under the Compromise, employers retain the legal ability to establish reasonable employment regulations that reflect their own values. At work, employees may, in a non-disruptive manner, express their views and even religious convictions about marriage, family, and sexuality; they cannot be penalized at work for expressing those views outside of work. LGBTQ people receive identical protections. We found a balanced solution, squaring religious liberty with LGBT non-discrimination. I am proud that Utah, was able to navigate this difficult issue without boycott or protest and as a result, the Utah Compromise has become a benchmark for other states.