Issues

Improve the Economy and Create Jobs:

In 2013, Debbie was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Arizona Retailers Association and “Leader of the Year in Public Policy” by the Arizona Capitol Times.  She also received the “Guardian of Small Business ” award from the National Federation of Independent Businesses- AZ Chapter, a group that represents Arizona’s small businesses.

Debbie co-sponsored two “Jobs Bills” (HB2001 and HB2815) designed to bring industries that provide high-paying jobs into Arizona and help existing businesses so they can hire more workers.

These  pieces of legislation have helped:

  • Arizona rank #1 in the nation for new business start-ups (Kauffman Index)
  • Move AZ from #32 to #5 in the nation for job growth (ASU W.P. Carey School of Business)
  • Move AZ from #8 to #4 in business competitiveness in the Mountain West states ( Greater Phoenix Economic Council)

Limiting taxes and government regulation will create incentives so that businesses with high paying jobs will WANT to move into our state. Arizona has many advantages for businesses to locate here, but we must remain competitive with other states. All things being equal, if Arizona has a higher tax rate and more government regulation than our surrounding states, businesses will locate elsewhere.

Help Arizona Businesses:

Debbie sponsored and fought to pass HB2111, historic legislation that reforms Arizona’s complicated sales tax system.  The legislation was supported by both Republicans and Democrats and only had one no vote in the entire legislature.  After 30 years of trying to pass this legislation, Representative Lesko, with the help of the Governor’s office and a large coalition of Arizona Businesses, finally got this vital legislation done.  HB2111 allows businesses to submit their sales taxes to one central location, limits business exposure to one single audit, and reduces the sales tax burden on service contractors and consumers.

Improve Education:

Debbie was named the “2012 School Choice Champion”

Debbie co-sponsored SB1286 which helps parents easily identify good schools for their children by ranking schools on an A-F scale.  Debbie also sponsored HB2622, model legislation recognized across the country  to improve educational opportunities for special needs children, students in failing schools, adopted foster children, and children of active duty military.  Debbie also supported HB2732 which requires 3rd graders to read at grade level before being promoted to 4th grade and supported HB2281 to prohibit the teaching of courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. Government as was happening in some Tucson schools.  Debbie has sponsored and co-sponsored legislation to improve educational choice for parents.

Our students must be prepared to compete with other countries in a global economy. Unfortunately, student test scores keep dropping, less than half of all freshmen who enter Community College pass the entrance exam to enter College level math, and Arizona and the United States fall way behind in the percentage of students who graduate from high school and college and are proficient in math and science. We can improve education by focusing on the basics: math, science, reading, and writing. We must increase student expectations and stop “dumbing down” the AIMS test. We should also increase parental choice, because parents know better than anyone else where their own child will do their best. Why should a parent be forced to send their child to a failing school?

Improve Health Care:

Debbie co-sponsored HCR2014, the “Healthcare Freedom Bill”  a ballot measure  approved by Arizona voters in 2010.  The legislation allows AZ citizens the right to choose their physician and healthcare plan, no matter what the federal government imposes.

As House Majority Whip and a member of legislative leadership, Debbie helped develop a state budget that increased funding for the seriously mentally ill by $39 million and added $9 million to expand the number of women eligible for breast and cervical cancer coverage.  23% of our state budget provides healthcare for those in need.

We must work to improve and simplify the health care system but make sure that patients retain the right to choose their own physician. As the main advocate for her parents’ health care Debbie has learned first hand the craziness when dealing with health care providers, insurance companies, and Medicare. While her father was in the hospital, she learned first hand the frustration working with a myriad of specialists who don’t seem to communicate with each other and the need for a family member or other person to advocate for the patient.

Limit Government Spending and Taxes:

Debbie was named “Hero of the Taxpayer” by the Americans for Prosperity-AZ Chapter in 2013.

As House Majority Whip and a member of legislative leadership, Debbie helped develop a state budget with the Governor’s office that has taken our state from a deficit, added funding for education, healthcare, and public safety and put $450 million aside for a rainy day.

Debbie continues to sponsor legislation that requires government to live within its means and sponsors and supports legislation to reduce the tax burden on employers and individuals.

Debbie also sponsored legislation to reduce welfare fraud and improve government transparency.

Self-initiative, hard work, and perseverance are what has made this nation great, not reliance on government programs. Individuals and businesses can do a far better job at managing their own money than the government.

Government spending needs to be prioritized. Protecting our citizens and keeping them safe, should always be the top priority.

Debbie has long worked to limit government spending and taxes. Debbie served on the board of the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers, an organization that works to limit government spending and lower taxes.

Perhaps that is why Debbie has been named “Friend of the Taxpayer” by Americans for Prosperity and ranked in the top 10 State Representatives by the Goldwater Institute.

Strengthen families:

Debbie was named “Friend of the Family” in 2012 and 2013.

The family is the backbone of our great nation and state. We must continue to encourage families to stay together and raise their children in a loving environment. We need to eliminate tax and welfare incentives that discourage marriage. We should not allow schools to hand out birth control pills to our young children without parental consent and we should continue legislation to improve foster care and adoptions.

Unfortunately, there are instances when the family cannot remain together. In these cases, we must work to improve the Child Protective Services department, the Child Support department, and work to improve our fight against domestic violence.

Because Debbie believes in protecting the lives of all humans, including fetuses, she supports pro-life legislation that also helps protect the health of the mother and helps the mother better understand her options.   Debbie supported legislation that prohibits abortions after 5 months and gives mothers more information on their health choices.

Debbie left an abusive ex-husband over 19 years ago and is now happily married with three children. She not only survived, but has thrived and serves on an advisory council for Faith House, a domestic violence shelter. Because of Debbie’s past experience she is in a unique position to understand the needs of women and families in need of help.

Support our Military and Veterans:

Debbie co-sponsored and supported a wide variety of legislation to support our Military and Veterans and has made an extra effort to attend veteran events because her father served in WWII.  Debbie has spoken at and attended Veteran Day, Memorial Day, and 9/11 events and is being supported by many veterans.

We must make it a priority to support our military and veterans. They give of their lives to protect the freedoms we too often take for granted. We must protect our state’s military bases and improve services for our veterans.

Protect our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights:

1st Amendment: We must protect our constitutional rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. We hear of too many cases where these rights are being gradually eroded away. Political correctness and lack of common sense seem to have run amuck.

Debbie sponsored HB2625, legislation supported by millions of people of all faith and legislation that directly upholds the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The legislation fights back against the Obama administration’s government mandate that forces religious employers to provide abortion and sterilization drugs even when doing so violates the employers religious beliefs.  Government is not allowed to prohibit the free exercise of religion according to the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution.   Employers, like Catholic-based, St. Vincent De Paul, or Baptist Colleges should not be forced by the government to do something that violates their religious beliefs.

2nd Amendment: We must protect the right of law abiding citizens to own guns to defend themselves against criminals.  Debbie co-sponsored vital legislation that protects the rights of law-abiding citizens. Debbie is a member of the NRA, the Arizona Rifle and Pistol Association, and the Arizona Citizen’s Defense League.  It is important that we continue to train and educate our children about gun safety.

 

Secure our Border and Enforce the Law:

Debbie Co-Sponsored SB1070, which gives law enforcement the tools needed to fight illegal immigration.

The borders must be secured and current laws enforced now. The costs are too high and the problems too deep.  Debbie has long worked to limit illegal immigration.  Debbie also worked for the passage of Proposition 200, so that individuals must now show proof of citizenship in order to vote. She walked door to door collecting signatures to get the proposition on the ballot, then publicly advocated for it’s passage, and worked towards it’s overwhelming passage by the Arizona voters.

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