Please take time to review my Prescription for a Healthy Community in Hot Springs. I believe these three key areas need to be addressed by our next State Representative.

Education Funding

When Hot Springs voters said we would accept a state lottery in exchange for scholarships for our children, we meant it. We did not mean that the extra money coming from the lottery would free up existing appropriations to be used for something else. This little maneuver is commonplace in other states and is expressly prohibited in our constitutional amendment. Hot Springs needs this scholarship money to make sure that our children have a chance to attend college. It is these same children who are most likely to return back home as young adults to help build our economic future, both as qualified employees and entrepreneurs.
I expect the total amount of state funding for higher education to rise with the addition of lottery funds, and if elected, I will serve as a watchdog on lottery revenue to make sure that the state lives up to its end of the bargain.

Healthcare

The question is this: If you get sick in the future, are you going to be able to find a doctor in Garland County to take care of you? The answer might surprise you. Garland County is losing doctors to retirement and normal attrition, and we are unable to recruit all the young doctors we need. We are okay for now, but if we continue to be unable to recruit young doctors to this town, we will have many specialties which are not represented or are underrepresented, and we will become a referral station for Little Rock. This will shrink Garland County's largest employer and make it hard to get complete care in Hot Springs. This will result in less jobs in the medical industry, inability to care for the sickest patients, and a less attractive climate for retirees and new businesses. In time, this triple threat will have disastrous consequences for our economy.
I believe an excellent and complete medical community is essential to the economic health of our district and I will work with the legislature, UAMS, local doctors and hospitals to find ways to attract young doctors to our city.

Small Business

Hot Springs is a wonderful place to live and work, but we must continue to attract new businesses and new residents in order to provide a promising future for our children. An educated workforce and a complete medical community create an stable base upon which to build, but other elements are necessary to create a favorable climate for the growth of new and existing businesses. The Hot Springs economy is made up primarily of hundreds of small businesses and it is essential that we protect the health of these businesses. The recession as well as the specter of new federal taxes and other levies in the near future threaten these very businesses and consequently the economic health of the county. The state can help by providing resources and incentives to assist us in staying competitive, even in this tough economy.
I will work to promote small business, the main driver of economic development in Garland county.