Ariz. Senate, Dist. 24: Amanda Aguirre
Name: Sen. Amanda Aguirre
Office running for: Arizona Senate
In district: 24
Political experience: I have served eight years in the legislature, four in the House of Representatives and presently serving my second term in the State Senate.
Family: Daughter Lucy, a PhD Candidate in Organic Chemistry (molecular synthesis) at MIT in Boston and my son, Capt. A. Aguirre U.S. Air Force Pilot (Combat Search and Rescue “Pave Hawk” helicopter pilot) a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy (Class of 2005) who has served two tours to Iraq (2009) and is presently serving in Afghanistan.
Please describe your platform
Provide adequate classroom resources to our public schools and teachers so our public schools are better prepare to produce our workforce necessary to attract businesses and industries that will create high paying jobs in our state to ultimately improve our economy. Making sure that children and families have access to affordable healthcare. Supporting funding for public safety, and most of all maintaining open and accountable government.
If elected, what is your first priority?
Workforce Development (which include K-12, Higher Education, economic development and job creation). Work to maintain an open government. I feel very strong that we should implement a website that is easily accessible, transparent and comprehensive where taxpayers can obtain information on the state budget. The state budget should be balanced with long-term solutions not a one time “gimmick” solutions such as bringing short-term cash to the state at a much higher cost to taxpayers in the long-term.
Who do you think is your biggest challenger and why?
Voter apathy. It is not a presidential election.
What do you think sets you apart from your opponent(s)?
I have a track record of being an effective legislator and representing the interest of the people in D 24. During my eight years in the Arizona State Legislature, I have successfully introduced and passed legislation that have impacted D24 and the entire state, such as:
• Identity Theft/ Credit Freeze legislation to protect consumers. Makes it easier for Arizonans residents to place security freezes on their credit accounts if they suspect these accounts have been used by identity thefts Appropriation of $1 Million dollars for diabetes prevention/control
• Special License Plate “Breast & Cervical Cancer” funds to go toward early detection and prevention of breast and cervical cancer for medically uninsured women.
• “Steven's Law:” Early intervention treatment insurance coverage for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, setting the standards for other states to follow.
• Transfer of college credits (reciprocity) for military personnel and their families to colleges and universities across the country.
• Emergency Worker legislation which provides workers comp and liability protection for volunteers in a state of emergency.
• Hearing impaired Tele coil legislation to provide individuals with hearing impairment with the opportunity to select this type of technology available in the market. Arizona is the only state in the country that has implemented this key legislation.
• Appointed by the Majority Republican Leadership to chair the Arizona Autism Task Force 2010. Statewide Autism Task Force legislation's main goal is to improve and coordinate the delivery of services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder by maximizing state resources and working with private, non for profit and government entities.
• Protecting taxpayers by introducing legislation that includes property owners in the decision to dissolve a fire district (SB1253-Aguirre).
• SB1182 Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner legislation, gives psychiatric and mental health Nurse Practitioners the authority to conduct court-order mental health evaluations and treatment procedures.
• Established “Arizona Smart Choices” Initiative in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Hospitality and Restaurant Association to promote healthy eating choices for consumers.
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts?
I feel very strongly that the legislature should implement a website that is easily accessible, transparent and comprehensive where taxpayers can obtain information on the state budget.
Public notices are regarded as one important way for the public to find out what is really happening in government. Newspapers currently not only print public notices but also operate a free, consolidated, online, searchable database. Some people advocate that public notices should be available only on government websites. Do you agree that the Legislature should change the current law to mandate that public notices be available only on government websites?
NO, in particularly in Rural Arizona. Not everyone has access to internet.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans, and Arizonans?
Small businesses are at the brink of collapsing due to the poor economy. Small businesses are the backbone of our state. We need to provide en environment so small business can thrive. Less red tape and less paperwork without jeopardizing public safety.
What would you do, if elected, to help change that?
I will continue working in a bi-partisan way to limit appropriations for government programs. Tax credits are an expenditure of resources (except that they go through the tax code instead of through direct spending). Any current or future tax credits should be examined thoroughly to make sure that they provide a good return on investment for our state and our small businesses. I will work to make sure that the state maintains public control over planning and management, and ensure that the public receives fair long-term value for their assets while maintaining complete transparency and accountability.
What is one of your strength? Weaknesses (something you'd like to improve upon)?
Strength: “Walk the Talk,” I get things done and I am very passionate about my work!
Weaknesses: Improving my computer skills to better communicate with young voters such as learning more about “social media.”
What is one thing that you want voters to know?
I'm a caring and dedicated individual and always already ready to listen.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Every eligible person should become a register voter and then come out and vote!