Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson (District 29)
We begin a new decade this year and a new legislative session here in Arizona. It brings hope for new opportunities, jobs and a better future, but we also face very serious problems in Tucson and statewide.
Unfortunately, Arizona now has a $3 billion budget deficit that needs an innovative solution. Problems of this magnitude affect everyone in our state, rural and urban, young and old, Republican, Democrat and Independent.
The solution will not be found by looking backward at what we should have done to prevent this economic crisis. Instead, we need to look forward, perhaps with a little help from the global community. In December, international climate talks in Copenhagen provided us with a very important lesson - that solutions to the energy and financial crisis are local and region-specific.
In other words, we need to use our local resources here at home to find a solution not only to our energy needs, but also to our financial problems.
Many Arizonans moved to our beautiful state for one major reason: our beautiful weather. It seems so simple, but to overlook the opportunities presented by our abundance of a very powerful natural resource - sunshine - would ignore a practical and innovative solution to our fiscal problems.