I will work with the General Assembly to achieve sensible solutions for Missouri to allow the economy to grow, to keep and attract businesses, and to promote job growth. Government should support an environment in which area entrepreneurs can grow their businesses and hire more Northland workers, so they in turn can provide a good life for their families.
Great schools are a central component of a thriving community. I believe in students and want to ensure that they are prepared to contribute to society as responsible citizens. Our schools must be innovative, continually striving for greater student achievement and emphasizing skills students will need to compete and succeed in the modern, hi-tech, global economy.
As a recent school board member, I understand that local control of schools is important. To be effective, our schools must serve students and families, not federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. High standards are required, as is rigorous coursework, all of which I'll advocate for. But more than any standard, we must emphasize the importance of family involvement to ensure student achievement. So we need to encourage input from parents and teamwork among educators, families, and communities.
The Northland has excellent schools, from elementary and secondary schools, to colleges and trade schools. I will work to maintain and further that excellence through adequate funding of education, so that our schools can maintain school safety, hire great teachers, and provide extraordinary educational experiences for Northland students. I will also promote policies that encourage partnerships between the business and education communities. The Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) is a great example. A collaborative effort between area school districts, Northland CAPS provides high-school students with real-world and career-oriented learning experiences through partnerships with companies in emerging industries. I was proud to be a part of the school board during the program's inaugural year. As a member of the General Assembly, I'll seek ways to foster the development of collaborative initiatives that benefit students, their families, and employers.
Based upon my support for education in Missouri, I have received endorsements from local and state education associations, including the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA), NKC MSTA, and Better Schools for Missouri (MO Association of School Administrators, MO Association of Elementary School Principals, MO Association of Secondary School Principals, Missouri Association of School Business Officials, and Missouri Council of Career & Technical Administrators).
I will advocate for a government that is limited yet effective, efficient, and accountable. Recognizing that government needs resources to provide essential services, taxation must nevertheless be limited, so that citizens are not overburdened or the economy stifled. Government officials must be wise and frugal with the citizens’ money and make sure that government spending is kept in check. I will fight to keep taxes low to allow Northlanders to keep more of their own hard-earned money and put it to use to grow the economy.
One of government’s primary duties is to provide for public safety. I support law enforcement personnel, laws that keep dangerous criminals off the streets, and policies to keep our families and children safe. I believe that criminals who repeatedly victimize children should not be allowed to hide their prior crimes from juries. I therefore support the amendment to the Missouri Constitution to allow juries to know the criminal history of repeat child predators. I’m also in favor of laws that afford rights, restitution, and support to victims of crime and their families. For example, I supported the 2011 law that increased penalties for the heinous crime of human trafficking and requires restitution to victims. To lower recidivism rates, I support programs like drug courts that help non-violent offenders learn from their crimes and change their ways, as well as corrections initiatives to transform those doing time for their crimes to end the cycle of lawlessness and imprisonment, so they can re-enter society as productive citizens once they've paid their debt to society.
I am pro-life. Life at all stages must be respected. I supported the Missouri legislature's decision in 2011 to pass the bill banning late-term abortions that would occur after a baby has become viable, except in situations in which a mother’s life is in danger or she would face significant health risks. I have been endorsed by Missouri Right to Life as being an effective voice for the protection of innocent human life.
A primary role of state government is to create and maintain a strong infrastructure to facilitate commerce and essential services and to enhance the quality of life of Missourians. To maximize growth, development, and economic opportunity in the Northland, we need quality and sustainable roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, electrical grids, and telecommunications. As State Representative, I’ll work with the municipalities and utilities in the Northland to meet those infrastructure needs.