Barton, Brenda

Republican – Legislative District 6 House

Phone: (602)926-4129

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.barton4az.com

Facebook: Brenda Barton

Twitter: @Barton4Az

Address: 1205 N McLane Rd, Payson, AZ 85541

Age: 59. (11/22/54, Safford, AZ).

Arizona since: Birth

Occupation: Retired; accounting and materials management, City of Safford.

Marital: Married

Children: 2; 7 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild

Education: Accounting, Eastern Arizona College.

Political experience: Jake Flake Scholarship recipient and AZ rep, North American Council of the State Agriculture & Rural Leaders Legislative Summit; task force member, Council of State Governments-Western States; graduate,Western Legislative Academy; graduate,Dodie-Londen Excellence in Public Service Leadership Program; past state director,AZ Federation of Republican Women; former two-term president, Graham County Republican Woman; former treasurer, People for the West, Graham County Chapter; precinct committeewoman since 2005.

Legis exp: House since 2011.

Interests: Cooking, sewing, cruise travel, marksmanship, American history, grandchildren.

Two biggest issues: An adequate water supply is perhaps Arizona’s greatest challenge if we are to continue our economic expansion. Our second greatest challenge is to create a revenue system for our state that both meets our public needs while putting our state on a competitive par with other states for economic growth. I will continue moving legislation such as this year’s water infrastructure bill and forest restoration bill that was signed by our governor and work closely with our stakeholders to continue finding ways to improve Arizona’s water future and to address our forest’s health. I will continue my struggle for increased funding to Arizona’s community colleges, especially those in our rural counties lacking the stability of our more populous counties. I firmly believe that Arizona’s community colleges are a key component of our state’s economic growth.

Budget priorities: The Legislature is charged with enacting public policy and developing a state budget. I do not believe that saying “no” to everything is the best way to carry out our duties. Likewise, blindly pouring good funds into agencies and programs that may have chronic and inherent problems and challenges is also not consistent with our responsibilities. There are projections showing Arizona facing a significant financial predicament by 2017. It is my thinking that any revenue enhancement coupled with any spending increases must be surgically undertaken; like finding more disk space on your computer by using your defragmentation option, you squeeze more disk space while eliminating unnecessary bloat. My priorities continue to be water augmentation, highway infrastructure, forest health, continuing to grow Arizona’s $12.4 billion dollar agriculture sector, and strengthening our institutions of higher education.

Fiscal philosophy: Pragmatically conservative with the understanding that saying “no” isn’t always the right answer.

Common Core: There is growing evidence that this educational shift is unproven and there may be little to no independent research to substantiate the claims of the proponents. I have been contacted by many parents as well as teachers who are urging me to opt Arizona out of the Common Core educational system. Additionally I have grandchildren in elementary schools that have implemented the Common Core program, and from what I have seen of their homework, when any is brought home, substantiates much of what I have heard from teachers. Here’s an example: a math problem asking a 1st grader to write a sentence explaining WHY 7+3=10 and then to draw a picture of it! Arizona provided a solid education for generations from statehood through just a few years ago without Common Core. It has yet been proven to me how exactly the ACCR Standards will benefit our children. Until Common Core is proven, we should err on the side of common sense and use proven means of educating our children.

Gifts to elected officials: Arizona has excellent laws regarding gifts and transparency. Due to term limits and a legislative salary that is in many cases below the poverty level, lobbyists will continue to play an integral role in our Legislature.

Transparency in government: Transparency is very important to good government. That is why in 2011 I wrote HB2572 to direct each local government in the state (from towns to school districts) to post their financial information as prescribed in a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) on their official Internet website and make it easily accessible to the public. Unlike a budget, a CAFR is the financial document utilized by bonding agencies to set the ratings of a public agency’s bonds. Regarding public notice, my ‘No’ vote on HB2554 this past session should give you an idea as to my thinking on this issue.

Pro-life / pro-choice: While I am strongly pro-life, this issue was settled with Roe vs. Wade. I, however, will equally advocate for women’s health and safety when seeking a pregnancy termination. That is why I believe in establishing regulatory health standards no less than at any medical facility and sanitation standards no less than those of a common restaurant. We have seen in the national media the conditions of some of our country’s women’s health facilities, and they were abhorrent.

Public policy advice: As a pragmatic, independently minded rural conservative, there are many individuals who I turn to for counsel; the answer to this question is issue driven.