Education and right-to-work legislation are toward the top of Candy Spence Ezzell’s 2013 priority list
Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, hopes 2013 will see the state’s legislature figure out several issues, such as how to protect the retirement benefits of public employees.
Ezzell said, two years ago, there were reports that retirement funds were going bankrupt and she and other legislators must work to ensure that they are viable enough.
“We have to start somewhere,” she said. “We have to start fast.”
Another problem that needs to be solved is the education system, she said.
Despite the amount of money put into education, she said the state is still among those with the highest dropout rates.
“It’s a disgrace to our kids and our taxpayers,” she said. “I’m really appalled by that and we’ve got to fix it. I’m tired of finishing next to last in the nation.”
One bill that Ezzell supports would provide extra help in reading for Kindergarten through third-grade students. However, she also stressed the need for parental involvement to make a student successful.
“We can’t let our kids down,” she said.
Ezzell said she not only wants better education opportunities, but also better work opportunities throughout the state. That’s why she supports right-to-work legislation, which she said would make the state more competitive and provide good paying jobs.
“We have to be in line with what other states are doing,” she said. “We have to have jobs for people in our state who want jobs.”
A supporter of the right to bear arms, Ezzell said legislators should also enhance the state’s Castle Doctrine, which gives homeowners the right to defend their home when faced with an intruder.
Ezzell also is a member of the Energy and Natural Resources committee and said more should be done to protect local water basins from speculative use in other parts of the state.
Their overuse and depletion would have a devastating effect on area farmers and ranchers that would eventually affect the rest of the nation, she said.
Many of the issues the Legislature will see in session are going to be controversial, Ezzell said, and she encourages those with concerns and relevant interests to contact her and other representatives by calling the state Capitol at 505-986-4300.