Republican – Legislative District 23 House
Phone: (480) 225-5021
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Michelle Ugenti
Address: 9319 E Desert Trail, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Age: 33. (06/28/80, Scottsdale, AZ).
Arizona since: Birth
Occupation: Legislator; former commercial real estate agent.
Education: B.S., business administration, ASU, 2003.
Political experience: None.
Legis exp: House since 2011.
Interests: Scrapbooking, cooking and gardening.
Two biggest issues: Arizona’s fiscal stability is vital for our future. This allows for the development of an educated competitive workforce, to retain and attract industries that provide competitive salaries, and to properly fund the services and functions of government. An efficient and effective government should be coupled with a vibrant and prosperous economic environment. In order for Arizona to remain competitive in the growing economic marketplace, there must be sufficient public infrastructure for the movement of goods and services. In addition to roads and highways though, we must be prepared to adequately supply water for residential and commercial development as the population continues to grow. Arizona is positioned well to continue to grow as the economy improves and we must make prudent investments to remain an attractive option.
Budget priorities: As a member of the appropriations committee for the last four years, my budget priority has been to restore the fiscal stability of the state while funding the state’s obligations with the available resources. I have, and will continue to work to eliminate the structural deficit, reduce debt and not use accounting gimmicks to balance the budget. The Legislature is limited in what expenditures it can reduce due to spending that is protected by the provisions of Prop 105. I would recommend eliminating the constraints of Prop 105 to allow the Legislature and governor to look at the entire budget when decisions need to be made to reduce expenditures. To increase revenues, I recommend the continuation of cutting taxes and eliminating unnecessary and burdensome regulations on business to foster economic growth and investment.
Fiscal philosophy: My fiscal philosophy is the state should live within it means, have as little debt as possible, money in the Budget Stabilization Fund (rainy day fund) and a tax structure that encourages growth in existing businesses while attracting new ones that provide quality jobs to Arizonans. Workforce development is also important. Arizona’s students should be prepared to enter the workforce with an education that enables them to compete in the current marketplace.
Common Core: Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards were adopted by the Arizona State Board of Education in 2010 for language arts/literacy and mathematics. Implementation of the standards began during the 2013 school year. The Board is constitutionally created and by law is charged with regulating the public school system. Educational standards existed in Arizona prior to 2010, and I understand the frustration of parents and others with the manner in which certain standards were adopted. My focus when it comes to education is on ensuring that each and every child in Arizona receives the best education possible, but I do not believe that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to that. I continue to believe that the best way to improve education is to empower teachers and ensure they have the tools to do their jobs effectively. While standards can play a part to achieve successful outcomes, we must not lose sight of the importance of engaged parents.
Gifts to elected officials: If reforms are going to be made to the statutes on gifts given to elected officials, they should require more timely disclosure of the gifts received. The information should be available on the internet for the public to access and be available for elected officials at the local level as well. Voters should have as much information as possible about gifts their elected officials receive.
Transparency in government: I believe transparency in government and notice to the public is very important. I sponsored legislation to subject political subdivision entities, such as the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, to the open meeting law. Entities funded with taxpayer money, especially those that advocate for public policy on behalf of taxpayers should provide notice to the public of when they are going to make those types of decisions. I also sponsored legislation, on behalf of the business community, to reform the process for the adoption of regulatory rules. This legislation required more public notice of when those decisions where going to be made by the regulatory body and provided more opportunities to participate in the development of those rules and regulations.
Pro-life / pro-choice: Pro-life.
Public policy advice: For advice on public policy issues, I turn to constituents, impacted stakeholders and others with experience on a particular issue.