Fuels, tort reform, water on agendas
What needs to be done to help solve Arizona's forest problems?
Boone: "Of course we need to improve the health of our forests, they need to be thinned more," he said. Boone said he has been told that thinning can be done with the support of environmentalists and the timber industry.
"In the area of forests, I don't pretend to be one of those with an in-depth amount of knowledge," he said. Boone plans to speak with legislators and staff who are experts on this topic.
Burges: "I think that the Forest Service needs to be allowed to do their job," Burges said in reference to environmental groups. She wants to increase funding to the Forest Service. When asked what type of funding, she responded that federal, state or local funding would work because of the urgent situation.
Hubbs: "Either transfer the land to the state and let us take care of it, or start thinning it out," Hubbs said. She said she thinks the solution lies in finding a business partnership between loggers and the federal government.
What do you think of the governor's recent push for increased education spending?
Boone: "I supported the community college increase, I supported the university increases, I did not support the all-day kindergarten," Boone said. He said he did not vote for all-day kindergarten because it creates a new program without an identified source of money.
Burges: Burges said she supported the increased funding for community colleges because they have not been funded for years. She said government-funded all-day kindergarten is unneccessary. She added that parents desiring all-day kindergarten should pay for it, as opposed to making the government pay for it.
Hubbs: Hubbs explained that she voted in favor of the budget including the spending increases because Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert Burns rewrote the bill in its late stages in an ill-fated attempt to lower the budget. She said his version sent $40 million to $60 million back in AHCCCS money to the federal government, eliminated a homeowner tax rebate and removed programs for the disabled.
Do you plan to provide incentives for businesses to move to Arizona? If so, how?
Boone: "I think a positive business climate is what is needed overall," Boone said. "I oppose specific kinds of incentives for specific kinds of businesses."
Legislators can help create a positive business climate by keeping taxes low and ensuring that there is a reliable labor source for Arizona, he said.
Burges: "It is not the government's responsibility to create jobs throughout the state," Burges said. Creating small business-friendly tax policies throughout the state will create a beneficial climate, she said.
Hubbs: Hubbs said business taxes need to be revised. Small businesses are plagued with paying a high rate of taxes, but Hubbs does not want to pass the cost of any business tax reductions onto homeowners.
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