Balanced Budget that meets the needs of D31 residents--As you may know, in 2011 the legislature formulated and passed the first balanced budget in seven (7) years--without using reserve funds or raising taxes. As a member of the Joint Appropriations Committee, I supported these efforts. In 2012, the legislature also balanced the budget while increasing wages for all state employees and increasing state aid to education. I will continue to advocate for a balanced budget.
Economic Growth and Small Business Development--Two of the bright spots in our economic future are the SURF (Sanford Underground Research Facility) in Lead as well as entrepreneurial ventures/small businesses in our region. Entrepreneurs must have access to capital to start, sustain, and grow their businesses as well as a trained workforce.
As stated in "Revitalizing the American Dream" in Inc. (7/6/2010), "Young companies -- those younger than six years old -- provide the bulk of new jobs; in 2007, they accounted for 64 percent of them, according to a 2009 survey by the Kauffman Foundation that looked at start-up formation since the 1970s. John Haltiwanger, an economist at the University of Maryland, came to a similar conclusion in a more recent study: His research found that start-ups account for only 3 percent of total U.S. employment but almost 20 percent of gross job creation."
Education for our future leaders--We are fortunate to have Black Hills State University and two exceptional K-12 school systems in our District. According to the 2007 State New Economy Index, states that invest in higher education, are in close proximity to federal laboratories, and foster above-average levels of entrepreneurship will stand the greatest chance of succeeding in the New Economy.