GREG PATTERSON

GREG PATTERSON        

Age:  55

Educational background:  Bachelors of Science in business administration (accounting) UA 1985

Juris Doctor Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU 2009

Current employer/job:  of counsel Munger Chadwick Law Firm

Immediate family:  Married to Debbie, three adult children

Year you moved to LD 18: 2015

Last book read: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.

Why are you running for the Arizona Legislature?

I am a CPA and attorney and I served two terms in the Legislature in the 1990s.  I also served on the board of the county hospital and on the Board of Regents. I would like to put this experience to work for the people of District 18.

Briefly explain your three most significant accomplishments.

During my first two terms in the Legislature – 1991 to 1995 – I voted for the initial legislation that created charter schools.  I was chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee when we renewed mandatory auto insurance requirements.  I served four years on the Appropriations Committee and we devoted a much higher percentage of state funds to education than the legislature does now. 

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

My experience sets me apart.  I served two terms in the House.  I served four years as the director of the Residential Utility Consumer Office.  Then I served nearly four years on the board of the county hospital and five years on the Board of Regents. I have high-level experience in education, health care, taxation and energy issues. 

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

The legislature and governor just passed an increase to education funding.  We need to make sure that we have the funding to ensure that those increases are actually implemented.

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?

Arizona, of course, does not have a true voucher system.  I supported the creation of charter schools and I continue to support parental choice.

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

Yes.  The universities need additional funding.  A well-trained workforce generates so much additional revenue that increases in education funding ultimately pay for themselves. 

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 support bipartisan solutions to complicated issues.  For example, the both parties have a history of working together on water issues.  The parties also worked together to extend the Prop. 301 sales tax for education.

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

Water, educational quality, healthcare.

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

The media like to refer to tax cuts but forget about the tax increases.  In 2000, the legislature referred large sales tax increase to the ballot and it passed.  This year, the legislature extended that tax.   This tax increase has raised billions of dollars for education in the last 18 years. 

Governor Brewer also referred a temporary sales tax increase to voters.  That effort was successful and brought in around $700 million a year. 

Most of the tax cuts have been efforts to streamline the state’s business property tax structure in an effort to lure additional businesses to Arizona.  Those efforts have been largely successful. 

I see no need for additional increases or decreases. 

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