ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Sharon Collins on the State Budget

Republican candidate Sharon Collins is running for a House of Representatives seat in Legislative District 30 . We asked her if state spending is too high, too low, or just right in the following areas:

Education

We need to prioritize the money. Technology is where I would distribute more of it. We’ve got to get into the 21st century.

English Language Learning Programs

The problem is that we are mandated by law. The Legislature just passed a law that we have $40 million we have to spend. The Superintendent is taking that to court because he says the school districts have federal mandated money and if they could use that money, then we could offset and give them less. He suggested maybe $20 million.

Emergency preparedness

I don’t think that’s a problem. The National Guard is our armed force. The governor has the authority to lay out the National Guard if she declares an emergency. If the county had a problem, you have to go A through E to get some emergency funding. Then the governor would go to the feds.

Environment

Stick with me because of the Rosemont Mine situation is in my district. When I ran for mayor of Tucson, we had the water wars. I was on the side that the CAP water should go to the mines and that we should drink the aquifer water. They did end up combining CAP and now I’m worried the same thing is coming up in Green Valley. The mine wants to bring in CAP but you can’t guarantee that there’s not going to be a leakage. I’m also very much against it because the mines don’t have to get approval from our Arizona Water Board. That is a big issue–water and sustainability.

Health care

I’ve taken care of the elderly and I’ve taken care of children. I’m very supportive of KidsCare. I also believe in the free market. I don’t believe in mandating health care. The system in some ways needs to be overhauled, but that’s something that the insurance corporations and the state can look to. Right now I haven’t seen that to be a problem because people haven’t come to me about health care.

Law enforcement

My son is a Pima County Sheriff. I tend to be very supportive of their issues. I like that the sheriffs are now working with the border patrol–its helping a lot. I wouldn’t cut safety.

Transportation and highway infrastructure

I think that the transportation agency is one of the best organizations in Arizona. They only spent 2.5 percent on administration costs. To be honest, I think they have done a great job down here on the I-10 highway. That said, I don’t support the TIME initiative. It has too many items; it’s like a black hole for tax payers. If it was just for a high speed train from Tucson to Phoenix, maybe I would vote for it, but I’ve seen too many initiatives where the tax payers end up throwing away money.

Welfare

I believe that government should only do things that a person can’t do for themselves. Sometimes you’ve got to give someone a hand. I was a single mom and my kids got grants to go to college. When I had my childcare business, I participated in the voucher program for single moms which I still support. I’ve served on the Arizona Children’s Association Board for nine years–our slogan is to protect children and support their families. I would also support a program to help grandparents raise their grandchildren.

Universities

I think it was wrong to extend the lottery marketing ploy to fund the bricks and mortars initiative during a budget crisis. Of course I’m supportive of our universities–I tend to be more pro-education, but I wouldn’t swear to that. The one good thing about the AIMS test is if you do really well, you can get free tuition for any university in the state.

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