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Aimee's Top Four Priorities

Children raise their hands in a classroom.

EDUCATION

Every child deserves a high quality education. Each student is different and there should never be a one-size-fits-all program for our kids. 

employees working together to review code on a computer

WORKFORCE & JOBS

One of my top priorities will be to better connect education, workforce, and economic development so that we have the strongest and most nimble workforce in the nation.

Salt Lake City, Utah skyline

GROWTH

The tremendous growth in many areas of our state brings with it concerns over housing affordability, infrastructure for water and transportation, and air quality.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

I firmly believe that government leaders need to take more seriously their charge to use tax dollars in a responsible way. On the county council…

Utah's Values First!

EDUCATION

Every child deserves a high quality education. Each student is different and there should never be a one-size-fits-all program for our kids.

As someone who has volunteered hundreds of hours in the classroom, worked in PTA, and served on school community councils, I believe we accomplish this by ensuring we have the best teachers in the field. One of my top priorities is solving the teacher shortage crisis by implementing my W.A.V.E. proposal for public education.

I will continue to support the rights of parents to choose the best education for their child, whether they attend a school in a school district, charter school, private school, online school or homeschool. The federal government should not be involved in education decisions in Utah, and I oppose any efforts to usurp local control. Education that is driven at the local level, acting in a way that is responsive to parents, is best equipped to educate our kids. I will push for reducing over-regulation from the state, and empowering schools and teachers to be more innovative in ways that work for their students. I will advocate for changes to how we measure schools, improve ways to track student growth, incentivize high-performing teachers, and focus on policies that bring in more quality teachers to fill the teacher shortage.

On March 4, I unveiled my first wave of solutions for public education. W.A.V.E. stands for teacher WAGES, ACCOUNTABILITY, a clear VISION, and solutions for EVERY child. Read it here.

WORKFORCE & JOBS

Utah is well known as the “best state for business.” It’s time we also become the best state for workforce. One of my top priorities will be to better connect education, workforce, and economic development so that we have the strongest and most nimble workforce in the nation.

Our state has been in the top five for job growth and the economy. Businesses and residents of Utah have done a fantastic job utilizing capitalism and free market principles to be successful and spur job growth. But some of our Utah businesses have to recruit out of state or out of the country to fill certain positions. And many of our students in high school have no idea which jobs are needed in this state and which options exist. We tell every child to go to college and yet college may not be the best path to a successful career for every student. We have a lack of ready workers in many industries in Utah. The labor shortage that impacts many industries is becoming more and more of a drag on economic success.

It’s time to elevate our vision for workforce development. We can reform secondary education to an experiential based model, giving students insights into the many needs and opportunities in our state. We can change our culture, shifting away from a focus on a traditional four year degree as the only viable path to success in adulthood. We can revive the skilled trades through more robust alternative credentialing programs. In short, we can do a better job showing the next generation of workers the multitude of opportunities that exist in our state, and the many paths to get there.

GROWTH

As we enjoy this incredible state, we see our kids, grandkids, and others who want to also call Utah home. The tremendous growth in many areas of our state brings with it concerns over housing affordability, infrastructure for water and transportation, and air quality. As Governor, I will restore a strong planning component as one of the key functions of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. We will coordinate with legislators, local leaders, and our metropolitan planning organizations to ensure that we are promoting smart growth that balances the character of our communities with new opportunities. Decisions regarding economic development, workforce, housing, and transportation can no longer happen in silos. As Governor, I will work towards comprehensive local, regional, and state government coordination. We need to plan – not just for the next four years, but for the next 40 years.

Housing affordability – I don’t believe pushing high density housing in all our communities is the single way to fix the housing crisis and I support local communities to be the decision-maker for zoning. As a former eight-year planning commissioner, I understand planning and zoning issues and the vital role local communities play in helping us navigate the housing crisis. 

Infrastructure – My vision for Utah focuses on adequate investment in infrastructure while providing a clear focus on preserving quality of life. We need to plan – not just for the next four years, but for the next 40 years. This will include bold decisions in how we reform transportation funding sources. As a board member for the Central Utah Water Conservancy, I understand water infrastructure needs as we prepare for the future.

Air quality – It’s not enough to talk about cleaning up our air and throw a few dollars here and there to incentivize lower emissions. It requires an understanding of where incentives can have the largest impact and leading a shift in culture in how we use energy across diverse sectors of our economy: construction and housing, transportation, and electricity. My goal is to reduce emissions so that all areas of Utah are within federal health standards for air quality year-round.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

I firmly believe that government leaders need to take more seriously their charge to use tax dollars in a responsible way. On the county council I come prepared with ideas on how to cut wasteful spending and to better utilize dollars to make long-term impact and investment for the state’s second largest budget. In 2015 alone I proposed $4 million in budget cuts and was able to get $1.6 million of that passed. Nothing bothers me more than hearing government officials talk about a tax-payer funded budget item by saying, “But it’s only $____ (insert dollar figure here).” As Governor, I will bring that same diligence and fiscal conservatism to the state budget.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

IMMIGRATION

We need to secure our borders so we can identify who is coming into our country. Then we need comprehensive immigration reform. I support more work visas for immigrants who want to work here – provided they have an employer who can vouch for them, and they are able to live here and provide for themselves without looking for hand-outs from the government. I also support an expedited immigration process for those who have patiently waited their turn. We need a no-tolerance policy for those who are coming across our borders to do us harm, sell drugs, or commit crimes. 

SECOND AMENDMENT

As a gun owner myself, I believe we all have a right to protect ourselves. I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, as well as concealed carry. I oppose broad bans on entire classes of firearms. I am not supportive of Red Flag Laws unless there is due process.

ABORTION

I am pro-life and believe we should do all we can to reduce abortions. I believe we need to protect the life of the unborn, and that abortions should be considered only in extreme circumstances such as when the life of the mother is in danger, or when there is rape or incest.

TAX REFORM

I opposed the March 2019 legislative bill, HB 441, on adding a tax on services in Utah. I believe doing this would’ve been disastrous for our economic development in the state and I fear service-based industries would potentially leave Utah for neighboring states. I was disappointed in the process for this bill – bringing it forward with less than two weeks left of the legislative session and with little to no input from the public and affected industries. I will always oppose taxing families, businesses or sectors of our economy without the affected taxpayers being part of the discussion.

I also opposed the December 2019 legislative bill, SB2001, and have been a vocal supporter of the referendum to veto this legislation. Though the process was slightly better, that legislators pushing this listened more to a small group of analysts than they did the public at large raises serious concern. I disagree with an increase to the sales tax on unprepared food. I don’t believe a principled process was in place to decide which services were taxed – instead it was the lobbyists who dictated those who would pay. I believe we have questions that need to be discussed with the public – how should we be funding transportation needs in the future and should it be usage based or should everyone pay into it? We also need discussion with the public on how to best fund public education. I helped gather signatures for the tax referendum and was thrilled when the legislature rolled back this bill. You can read my op ed on this important topic here. 

INTERGENERATIONAL POVERTY

I organized and now chair the first Salt Lake County Intergenerational Poverty Task Force, bringing together state agencies, county departments, city perspectives and school district leaders. Our goal is to figure out how to break the cycle of government dependence. This issue is important for not only taxpayers, but those who are in poverty and should be able to feel that dignity and self-respect that comes from providing for yourself. We are working hard to find solutions for getting people on their feet.

RURAL UTAH

This past spring/early summer, I traveled to all 29 counties in our state. I met with both elected officials and the locals residents. It was wonderful to hear the issues they care about and get to know them better. Our rural residents sometimes feel frustrated that the focus in Utah is often on the Wasatch Front. I will be a Governor for the ENTIRE state, not just the high growth areas. 

Something I’ve learned in my years of public service working with rural officials is that rural Utah has unique challenges and opportunities, that vary from community to community. Rural leaders expect and deserve the ability to chart their own destiny. I will fight to make sure Utah’s voice on public lands issues is heard and respected and that decisions in these areas can be made on the local level.

On economic development, I am committed to helping rural areas who want to enhance jobs and economic growth. Increasing options for broadband is important to both improve service capability, but also to use competition to lower the cost. I will also support entrepreneurial programs to encourage job creation by those who live in rural Utah.

MENTAL HEALTH

I serve on the state’s Mental Health Crisis Response Commission, as well as Salt Lake County’s Behavioral Health Advisory Board. This issue is near and dear to me as I’ve seen family members struggle with mental health issues. There is a need to provide better avenues for people to get help. We are dealing with a suicide epidemic in this state. I will continue working to help break the stigma around mental health so we can have more open and honest conversations about it. I will be addressing the shortage of mental healthcare providers in my plan to enhance overall workforce in the state. I am working to implement receiving centers as a way to increase access to help, as well as reduce impact on jails and emergency rooms, thus saving money.

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

I’ve served on the board of Prevent Child Abuse Utah, as well as seen the effects of childhood trauma on our poverty rates, criminal justice system expenses, and behavioral and physical health stats. I will be taking an active role in looking at ways to be proactive, instead of reactive on these issues. I am anxious to see Utah lead as a trauma-informed state where we can first try to prevent trauma for our kids, but in cases where that isn’t possible, actively tackle this head-on as early as possible by building up resilience.

CONSTITUTION

When our Founding Fathers sat together through those hot summer days in Independence Hall, foremost on their minds was how to build a government structure that would serve the people, not rule over them. Their solution was pure genius…a system of divided government with checks and balances that would with proper care and maintenance, assure maximum freedom and liberty far into the future. Over the decades, our citizenship skills have weakened to the point that we allow government at all levels to grow without limit, and rule without accountability. It’s imperative that we remember the ideals of our Constitution and protect it for future generations.

HEALTHCARE

Healthcare costs in our country have gotten out of control. I support healthy competition to keep costs down. I also support pricing transparency so that those using healthcare services know the costs prior to being treated.

SB 54 – CAUCUS/CONVENTION SYSTEM

I am now and have always been an unapologetic supporter of our grass roots, caucus/convention system here in Utah. I am a product of that system and have served as a county, state, and national delegate. I always felt like it put all candidates on an equal footing regardless of their access to financial backing. I will not be gathering signatures to get on the ballot and will look forward to earning my place on the ballot through the convention.

 

PUBLIC LANDS

It is unfortunate that 70 percent of the land in our state is under control of the federal government. How ironic that many of the people making decisions about our lands live in states that are locally controlled and they have no clue what we deal with in the west. I believe public lands should have more local control. Locals understand these areas and would be much better stewards than the federal government. I will fight for the ability for local governments to have a greater say in what happens with lands in their jurisdiction, and for less control by the federal government.

 

Equal Rights

Utah’s Constitution has had an equal rights provision since statehood. I am hopeful that, on a federal level, we can come to the right solution on how to protect the God-given rights of both men and women equally, while recognizing the unique differences of men and women.

This article gives my perspective on how even rights for men are sometimes trampled by government action: https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/08/08/salt-lake-county/

HOW WILL YOU BALANCE FAMILY?

This is a question that female candidates often get asked. Being a mother is the most sacred duty I have ever been given and I cherish the time I’ve had raising my four children. My older two children are now living on their own – one married and the other one away at college. But as I considered running for this office, thinking about my youngest two boys, still in high school, gave me pause. I had an interesting experience one particular week this past winter where it was clear to me that I needed to run. A few days later, out of the blue, my husband’s employer contacted him and asked him to consider a new position that would entail far less travel, and allow him to work from home. This was just what I needed to feel good about moving forward. I can rest assured that when I can’t be there after school for my boys… my husband, Matt, can. We are a good team and both pull an equal load around the house. 

“I fully support Aimee in this decision to run. She has never shied away from tough things and has the public service background, policy knowledge, and temperament to effectively govern the state. She fiercely defends our tax dollars, stands up for the “regular citizen,” and asks the tough questions – never forgetting that elected officials serve, rather than rule.” – Matt Newton

DO YOU SUPPORT PRESIDENT TRUMP?

I support President Trump. He has kept his campaign promise to put America first, and as a result we have historic tax cuts, strong economic opportunity for every American, and two additional Supreme Court justices who are strict Constitutionalists. He deserves four more years.

Though I was not a Trump supporter in 2016, things changed for me early on in his presidency when he nominated Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. I saw that despite a tone I won’t always agree with, he would govern as an unapologetic conservative, support free markets, and stand up for the life of the unborn. I don’t believe in ever disparaging our President and will always stand by him and support him. This year, I voted for him in the Utah primary on March 3 and will again vote for him in November.