JILL NORGAARD

 

JILL NORGAARD    

Age: 55

Educational Background: BS Engineering, Masters in Business Administration

Current employer/job: State Representative

Immediate family: Clark, three adult children

Year you moved to LD 18: 1998

Last book read: “John Adams” by David McCullough

Why are you running for -- or seeking another term in -- the Arizona Legislature?

Briefly explain your three most significant accomplishments.

  • Cable operator bill – simplified statewide licensing process for cable operators (i.e  Century Link) so they do not have to apply to each of 91 cities to conduct business, saving taxpayers and consumers money.
  • Launched pre-school pilot program to decode dyslexia. This program is the first of its kind in the country.
  • Supported teacher pay increase – as a member of the Appropriations committee, I was proud to champion and support the salary increases for teachers.

What sets you apart from the field of candidates you’re running in?

My business management experience, education, and diplomacy have prepared me for the challenges facing constituents in our district and the State more broadly.

My focus is protecting business from regulatory overreach, responsible funding for our schools and universities, tax reform, increasing teacher pay, and guiding the ADOT L202 freeway issues toward the most positive outcome for the community. 

Does public education in Arizona need more funding? If so, how should that be accomplished? If not, why not?

  1. Yes.  An opportunity for additional classroom funding and teacher salary would come from savings realized by the consolidation of school districts.  Arizona has over 220 districts, compared to Nevada which has 17.

 According to the Auditor General (AG) report, $763 million is spent on administrative costs and approximately 40 percenty of schools have Superintendents that manage 2 or fewer schools.  I am always in favor of improving efficiency rather than raising taxes.   

Regardless of what happens on the school voucher referendum in     November, do you favor expanding the voucher program in the future? Why             or why not?

Approximately, 50 percent of Maricopa county students take advantage of school choice, mostly through open enrollment.  Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) are an extension of that policy.

 Just as the GI bill, debit cards for veterans and Medicare provide our military, veterans and seniors with additional public or private choices, ESA’s provide parents with additional educational choice.  I am in favor of empowering parents to chose education best suited for their children.

Do the three state universities need more funding and, if so, how would you increase it? If not, why not?

I supported recent budgets that have been responsibly restoring the funding amounts to the universities.  The last fiscal year totaled approximately $859 million dollars.  Our Maricopa Community Colleges are currently not receiving any general funds. This should be our next focus.  Both systems contribute greatly to the availability of skilled workers and entrepreneurs in Arizona.

In your view, have there been enough bipartisan approaches to issues in the Legislature in the last five years and how would you expand that bipartisanship?

I have seen continuous improvement in bipartisanship the last two sessions. However, this area requires far more attention.  It is worth noting that most bills we work on are non-partisan, however, the ones that capture media attention are the partisan bills. I am proud of the fact that the bills I have worked on are predominantly supported and co-sponsored by members of both parties.

What are the three biggest challenges facing Arizona in the next two years            that you want to address?

Continued strong economic development; teacher recruitment and retention and addressing our current drought on the Colorado river and subsequent declining groundwater levels.

Do you favor further tax cuts? If so, which taxes? If not, why not?

Slowly implemented corporate tax cuts have resulted in an increase in the growth of our economy, which I support.  Small business confidence is at a 20 year high, our general revenue growth this year is 7.5 percent, higher than estimated. Increases in economic development fund our general revenue budget sourced from: income, personal and sales tax revenue.

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