Helping People and Learning are my favorite parts of the job:

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My job as your state legislator is challenging, but very rewarding. Since I shared with you the budget challenges in previous columns, today I’d like to share with you some of the things I really like about my job.

The best part of my job is meeting and helping people. There are so many good people out there doing so many positive things for our nation, state, and community that I can’t help but feel encouraged about our future.

Recently, at a local American Legion Post I met with veterans and several active duty military on leave. They were on their way to the middle of the Mojave Desert to help fight for the preservation of a WWI memorial that is being threatened by a lawsuit from the ACLU. These men and women have sacrificed themselves for our country and now continue to fight for our country and its values everyday. I was honored to meet them and share in their commitment to our great nation.

Last month I visited Faith House, one of the Northwest Valley’s domestic abuse shelters, and was so impressed with the staff and volunteers and their mission to help women and children that I joined their advisory council and am honored to serve in any way I can.

In addition to meeting and helping people, I really enjoy learning new things that enable me to make better decisions in my job. I’ve attended countless workshops and seminars and toured everything from the brain research center in Sun City to the Child Support check processing center downtown.

The most unnerving and memorable experience I’ve had has to be my recent tour of the prisons in Florence. There I visited minimum, medium, maximum, and super-maximum prison units and was able to walk in the living quarters of the inmates. I walked through a death row cellblock and saw the gas chamber and lethal injection room. This was very sobering and something I will never forget.

Next month, I hope to share with you some progress on the state budget. On the positive side, we’ve whittled down the budget shortfall from $3.5 Billion to $1.5 Billion, but we still have many challenges ahead. I recently met with the Governor and her budget staff and have offered to help in any way I can. We are in for some very challenging times, but I know that working together we will make it through.

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