Frank Antenori is running for a seat in Legislative District 30 House of Representatives. We asked him if state spending is too high, too low, or just right in the following areas:
Too low. It’s pathetically too low. It’s hurting our economy.
English Language Learning Programs:
I think the current funding, without the court order, is adequate. If we are forced to spend the amount this arbitrary judge is deciding, it would be too much. Further, I don’t think the feds have any business telling us how to do our English Language Learning Program. I believe in immersion–it’s fast and it’s a lot cheaper then other programs. I would support Tom Horne’s lawsuit to overturn that decision in the Supreme Court.
Way too low. We are sitting ducks. We are getting Homeland Security money and the governor is buying T-shirts and Q-tips with it. I’m not kidding; she misappropriated Homeland Security money… They got burned on it and now they are doing the right thing.
This is near and dear to my heart because I hunt and fish. I think we need to spend what’s necessary to keep the environment stable and to keep it clean. That number fluctuates depending on what’s going on. We need to spend money on mine reclamation. It’s a safety issue as well as an environmental issue. The desert is a disaster because of illegal immigration–I also think we need to spend more money cleaning that up. I would like to see the convicted felons and inmates sitting on their asses watching Cable TV do what Joe Arpaio does. He’s got a voluntary chain gang system where he knocks time off their sentence if they are willing to go work. That helps create an ethic in a convicted criminal and helps recover some of the costs.
We’re currently going about health care the wrong way. Every time the government shifts costs, it takes money out of the economy and takes more people off private health care and onto government health care. Arizona’s Medicaid system, AHCCCS, is supposed to be a safety net for people who have kids and can’t get health care. It’s not supposed to be for people who make $65,000 a year. The governor is wrong–those people can afford health care premiums. Most people would rather go buy a big plasma TV. I want to increase access to health care and set up health unions so that businesses and private individuals can both afford them. The health care unions will be able to provide health insurance for dramatically lower costs then the insurance companies.
Too low. Cutting law enforcement is baloney. They should be funded to the maximum reasonable amount to do their job effectively based on a per capita amount.
Transportation and highway infrastructure:
I think we are spending the money in the wrong spots. I’d like to reprioritize the transportation budget and focus the dollar on the improving the transportation infrastructure, without all the artsy-fartsy stuff. Let’s fix the roads, paint it a nice color and if we have money in five years because the economy recovers, then we can put some lizards on the walls.
I think we need an evaluation similar to the way Wisconsin did their welfare program. Tommy Thompson, when he was the governor, they required everybody who was getting a welfare check to get a physical exam and prove they were disabled. If they refused, their money was cut off. They did a top to bottom audit and found a lot of fraud in the system. You’ve got to look at every possibility and make sure the people who need the welfare–the people who are disabled, get what they need. However, if they are able-bodied they should be out working.
I think we are misspending the money on that too. The money should be focused first and foremost on the education of the students. All the money that we spend on facilities at the UA, that’s not necessary; that’s marketing. That’s the UA using a new football stadium to recruit students. I think we need to create a couple more universities in the state of Arizona and increase the number of community colleges in the state. I’m sick of big universities jacking up the tuition, demanding more money from the state and the parents. It’s all about glitz and marketing and not about education.