Today is officially my first day as Vice President and Director of Research for the Mountain States Policy Center (MSPC). I am excited to join the team and help advance thoughtful recommendations promoting free enterprise, individual liberty, and limited government. Non-partisan policy based on facts and not emotion is just what the country needs right now, and MSPC is well-positioned to help advance the debate in a constructive and respectful way.
Before I lay out some of the projects we may be working on, let me share a little about myself.
I have more than 20 years of experience working with public officials, media, and citizen stakeholders across the nation to improve the fiscal, governance and transparency policies of local and state governments. For the past 16 years, I served as the Director of the Center for Government Reform at Washington Policy Center.
During that time, I was appointed by lawmakers and governors to various tax, budget and transparency reform committees. I’m currently a Fellow with the national Better Cities Project and am also a member of the State Tax Advisory Board for the Tax Foundation. With the benefit of remote testimony, I’ve testified numerous times before legislative committees across the country on government reform issues, and I’ve had the privilege of being published in numerous newspapers across the region.
When I’m not geeking out on studies and audits, my life revolves around my amazing wife and two daughters and for fun the 49ers’ schedule.
I’m grateful that MSPC already has a fantastic research team in place that I’ll have the pleasure of working with. Here are some of the projects we may take a closer look at:
The legislative process in the Mountain States. What are the rules for public involvement, bill reports and fiscal notes, remote testimony, live streaming, and the right of referendum and initiative?
Fiscal process in the Mountain States. What role do tax and spending limits, balanced budget requirements and protected reserves, tax structure, fiscal transparency resources, and independent accountability (audits) play in the governance structure?
Separating fact from fiction on Education Savings Accounts (ESA). There have been a lot of myths nationally about Education Savings Accounts. What do public officials on the ground in those states that offer them say about this student resource in practice?
Education funding and property tax reform. Is there an opportunity for a grand bargain to help provide more stability for local school funding while protecting homeowners, providing property tax relief, and expanding school choice options for families?
While we explore these and other policy issues, my commitment to you is that MSPC’s recommendations will always be based on facts and not emotion. This was the promise I made at our first annual Spring Dinner earlier this year when I was introduced to MSPC supporters.
My decades of involvement in the public policy world have taught me that no one has a monopoly on good ideas and that the best way to help is with an open hand backed up by factual research. MSPC has demonstrated a commitment to engaging in the policy debate the right way, and I’m ready to help build on its dedication to federalism and a regional focus.
I look forward to getting to know you and working together to help individuals, families, and businesses in the Mountain States take full advantage of the promises and protections of a limited government – one that is focused on its core functions that respects individual liberty and our free-enterprise economic system.