Shelley Kais
AZ State Senate LD2 Candidate
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ISSUES

Our Children

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” -Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and statesman

Their innocence, their vulnerability, and the sole dependence on those who care for them is why we provide protection to our children. Twenty-four (24%) of our children in the state of Arizona are living in poverty and even more alarming numbers in Pima County (25%) and Santa Cruz County (32%). We can build strong children by providing our families with:

  • a hand up to high paying jobs and opportunities in our community (Economy Link)
  • continued access to healthcare and KidsCare (www.azahcccs.gov) ,
  • appropriate funding of public education at all levels, (Education Link)
  • ensuring timely and effective results from the Arizona Department of Child Safety (www.dcs.az.gov)
  • continued community involvement through successful food programs (www.borderlandfoodbank.org)
  • continuing the operation of the federally recognized Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (www.azicac.org)
  • support to families through the Arizona Department of Economic Security programs (www.des.az.gov/child-and-family)

Our Veterans

“Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death!” -Sun Tzu, Chinese General and military strategist

Arizona
Arizona is home to more than a half-million veterans, VA expenditures of over $2 billion, and the Arizona Department of Veterans Services (https://dvs.az.gov). Nearly 19,000 military retirees reside in Tucson and the surrounding areas.

Pima County
Legislative District 2 is home to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base with approximately 6,500 Active Duty military personnel, 1,000 Reserve and Air National Guard personnel, and 3,000 civilian employees. In 2012, Davis-Monthan AFB received the Commander-in-Chiefs' Installation Excellence Award and was recognized as the best installation in the U. S. Air Force. We are proud of our military presence in Southern Arizona and our many veterans and retirees who choose to call Southern Arizona their home.

District 2 is also home to the premier Southern Arizona VA Health Care System and the first and newly-opened Arizona Fisher House.

Santa Cruz County
Community partners, individuals, city and state leaders, veterans and Veteran Service Organizations collaborated to address Veteran needs in Santa Cruz County. The Santa Cruz Serving Veterans (SCSV) organization emerged as a result of that effort and continues to work for Veterans.

I supported the start of SCSV and will continue to support SCSV if elected the Legislative District 2 Senator. I will work to ensure that all of our Veterans:

  • are aware of the benefits that are available to them
  • are aware of the MyHealtheVet website
  • know where their VA health care facility locations are
  • are not discriminated against due to service connected disabilities
  • have health insurance
  • are familiar with the Veteran burial benefits and the VA National cemetery in Sierra Vista and in Marana

Our Families

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” -Confucius, Chinese teacher, editor, politician

Family is everything. Especially if you have lost yours.

Our nation and the State of Arizona have a crisis within the child welfare system. Whether we are talking about taking a child out of a family, or a family in crisis due to death, divorce, illness, or parents living separate, we must provide protection and support to our families and those who care for our struggling families and children. There are 19,000 children and youth in foster care in Arizona, and 700 of those children will “age out” each year. As Legislators, we must first set our hearts right by:

  • ensuring the Department of Child Safety (https://dcs.az.gov) provides timely, appropriate support to our children
  • providing our children with as normal a placement as possible—most children will change foster care three times
  • facilitating DCS policy through effective legislation
  • funding appropriate Case Manager/child ratios
  • streamlining healthcare access through AZAHCCCS for continuous coverage for all children
  • maintaining the bonds between family members

Our Businesses

“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” – Babe Ruth, professional baseball player

Business is the engine of our economy—small, medium, and large businesses, and we must legislate to keep them going. In many cases, that means staying out of their way and letting them do what they do best—increase revenue, hire people, create new products and services, streamline their processes—which means they are likely to make more money, hire more people…you get the idea. What can the State Legislature do to assist in this process?

  • Support the Arizona Corporation Commission
  • Attract and retain employers that pay the highest wages
  • Develop and retain talent
    • Fund K-12 education
    • Support career and technical education (CTE)
  • Encourage innovative learning and education
  • Recruit and hire high qualified teachers to build the STEM workforce

Economic Development
Yesterday’s wins in economic development don’t count in today’s game—we must keep working to attract and retain new business and industry in Southern Arizona. There are four components for economic development:

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Tax Reform
  3. Debt Reduction
  4. Leadership

Industry is looking for a solid infrastructure when they are looking to relocate or establish a new business location. Whether it is roads, railways, air terminals or hospitals, schools, or public safety-- industry realizes that they will not be able to relocate and retain their workforce without infrastructure.

Tax reform on a macro level is critical, but on a micro level investment tax credits can be useful to incentivize industry to look at your community. Competitive, business-friendly communities understand the importance of incentivizing business and providing a stable and predictive environment for business.

Debt reduction is used as a metric to gauge the predictive environment for future commerce. Arizona is the 6th Best State to do business and is operating at a surplus; a great environment for sustainable business operations.

And, finally leadership. Arizona’s business-friendly CEO and Legislature have hung out the “OPEN FOR BUSINESS” sign. The confidence that industry is showing in our Arizona leadership is demonstrated in the arrival of Caterpillar in Tucson, business uptake in Cochise County, housing development in Benson, and arrival of Apple in Phoenix.

With my leadership in Legislative District 2, southern Pima County and Santa Cruz County will also begin to see opportunities as we are seeing throughout Arizona.

Our Seniors

“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm” -Henry David Thoreau

Many of the larger communities in Legislative District 2 have a median age over 60. While this does not change the zest for life and enthusiasm for living, the needs of the communities are different—though we have not outlived enthusiasm! Supporting our seniors through continued legislation is critical to attract active adults and seniors to our communities throughout Southern Arizona. Protecting seniors from fraud and exploitation, elder abuse and neglect, and assistance to low-income seniors must be a cornerstone for legislation to support our District and the LD 2 constituents.