Meet the candidates – Utah Senate 10

Meet the candidates – Utah Senate 10

Editor note: This is the first in a series of posts introducing the candidates.  All candidates were offered to respond.  I am only posting responses received by the deadline.  Today’s post is Senate District 10.  Only Senator Lincoln Fillmore responded on time.  You can reach him at 801.548.0144.

fillmore

Senator Lincoln Fillmore –

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’ve been analyzing policy and making a difference from my early years. My Eagle Scout Project at age 14 was a get out the vote campaign in Taylorsville. I registered voters, coordinated with candidates and moderated a debate. I wrote a conservative column in a local paper in California when I was 19.

I’ve worked on multiple ballot campaigns and volunteered on countless campaigns. In the Republican Party, I’ve served as a County and State Delegate, Precinct, Legislative, and Region Chair.

I’ve spent my career in education as a teacher, principal, and school business manager. Now I help public charter schools operate more efficiently and meet their legal obligations through my company, Charter Solutions, which I founded in 2007. I graduated from the University of Utah in 1999.

For fun I love baseball! I had a blast spending eight years as the announcer for the Orem Owlz.

The best thing in my life is my wife Cheryl and our son Nicholas. We live in South Jordan and love it here. Cheryl is a licensed teacher and currently works from home in the BYU-Idaho Pathways program that helps working adults further their education and complete college.

 

Why are you running for Utah State Senate?

I’m running because my son will live in the world we leave behind and because I love our community. I have always believed that we have a responsibility to make a difference and this is one way that I can put my expertise to work to do that. My years in different facets of education, and especially in education financing, have already proved valuable in the 2016 General Session. My first priority as a Senator will be a focus on limiting the power of the bureaucracy and instilling a sense of personal responsibility that will continue to make our state a beacon to the rest of the country. Although my expertise is in education, the bills I sponsored this year ranged from education to tax policy to criminal justice.  No matter the issue I am voting on or sponsoring, I have one guiding principle.  Government should have less control over your life and you should have more! 

 

What are the top three issues facing Utah in the next 4 years and what do you plan to do to confront these?

To sum up, too often we are taken in my “feel good” policies rather than good policy.

Education – 84% of our students fall below the state average in funding. We cannot meet the commitment to education that we’ve made as a state and let that stand. The value we place on education for a child should not change because they live in an area where shifting economic and housing trends have left their schools underfunded. That is why sponsored legislation to work towards closing that gap without taking existing funds from any school (See question 4 for more details).

In addition, too much of what goes on in schools is dictated by politicians in Washington, D.C. and Salt Lake City. The larger the role that politicians and government play in classrooms, the smaller the influence of teachers and parents. Instead of micromanaging the education of our children we need to take the handcuffs off of parents, local principals and educators and let them innovate, provide options and choices to parents, and provide a high quality education for every child.

Federal Government Out of Control – The government that governs best governs least and closest to the people. I will work with our federal delegation and state agencies to strengthen Utah’s control over its own destiny as a state and let individuals control their own lives.

Criminal Justice and Welfare Reform – My passion for educating each child has led to a passion for reforming a system that creates a cycle of dependence that leaves our poor hopeless and suffocating under the very system meant to free them. Our criminal justice system needs to be reformed to make justice Swift, Predictable and Appropriate. We cannot leave our mentally ill a danger to themselves and others, homeless or in jail without proper care.

 

What is your proudest accomplishment serving in the legislature? 

I was elected by delegates to take Aaron Osmond’s place when he resigned in December of 2015 so I didn’t have much lead time but my proudest moment so far has been passing SB 153 – Self-Reliance Training for Public Assistance Recipients. This bill integrates at least two hours of self-reliance training into the process to receive public assistance.  The training would be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and would be offered at no cost to the individual or the State because these courses are already in place at no cost through several organizations. This is just a start but it is important that we see government assistance as temporary whenever possible and to realize that when we invest in public assistance that we are not investing in food or clothing etc. but in an individual.

I also have to include SB 244 which introduced the concept of the Equity Pupil Unit (EPU). This bill passed the Senate but died waiting for a vote in the House. I will be pushing this concept that will weight NEW education funding more heavily towards school districts that are the furthest away from the state per public funding average.

About author

Richard Jaussi
Richard Jaussi 31 posts

Richard is a political junkie. He teaches Political Science and US Constitution courses at a University. Richard can be found reading books on American history and politics. He resides in Utah County with his wife, 4 kids, and Frodo (their dog). You can reach him at fortyfivepolitics@gmail.com.

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