Page Cortez, who is unopposed in his bid to move from the state House of Representatives to the state Senate, said low taxes and an educated workforce are the most critical ingredients to boost the state’s economy.

“One thing is to keep our taxes down. That’s the first thing, to make sure we don’t burden businesses with taxes. The second thing is to provide an educated workforce,” Cortez said.

In regards to workforce development, the senator-elect said the state should ensure that technical colleges and universities are producing graduates who can fill the needs of today’s labor market.

He said the education system must also work to bring in children at a younger age though early childhood development programs and keep them in school until graduation — an effort that could help address the state’s high level of poverty.

“The only thing that solves poverty is education,” Cortez said.

He said balancing the budget needs for education and other priorities with current revenues requires more work in streamlining government.

In health care — among the top expenses for the state — Cortez said that “we have to create a system where we get better health-care outcomes for the dollars we are spending.”

Cortez also spoke of the need to trim the state’s workforce by not filling some positions as older workers retire, particularly in management positions.

Personnel is a major expense in the public and private sector, he said, and “we have a lot of state employees.”

As Cortez transitions into his new role as senator, he said the greatest single need in his district is roads to accommodate the rapid growth in Lafayette Parish.

“Road construction is also an economic development tool,” he said. “The more roads you create — you create businesses along those roads.”

Cortez is stepping into the Senate seat held by Mike Michot, who is barred from seeking re-election because of term limits.

PAGE CORTEZ

Republican, Lafayette.

50, owner/operator of retail furniture stores.

EDUCATION: B.S., Bachelor of General Studies, the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette).

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: State representative.

WHERE TO VOTE

Ward/Precinct and location

Lafayette Parish

30A Scott Middle

33 Prairie Elementary

34 Ridge Elementary

38 S.J. Montgomery Elementary

39 Louisiana Technical College

40 Louisiana Technical College

41 S.J. Montgomery Elementary

42 S.J. Montgomery Elementary

43 Prairie Elementary

44 Prairie Elementary

45 Lafayette High, Boys Gym

46 Lafayette High, Boys Gym

47 Lafayette High, Lobby

48 Bourgeois Hall

49 Myrtle Place Elementary

60 Lafayette Parish School Board Office

65 War Memorial Building

66 Central Fire Station

67 Fire Station No. 13

69 Lafayette Middle — North

70 Lafayette Middle — South

72 University Student Union Building

73 Girard Park Recreation Center

74 Johnston Street Fire Station No. 5

75 Lafayette Economic Development Authority

76 Lafayette Economic Development Authority

77 Montrose Ave. Fire Station No. 6

78 Woodvale Elementary

79 L.J. Alleman Middle

80 L.J. Alleman Middle

81 Montrose Ave. Fire Station No. 6

82 Thomas Park Recreation Center

83 Broadmoor Elementary

84 Broadmoor Fire Station No. 8

85Y Edgar Martin Middle

85Z Edgar Martin Middle

86 Fire Station No. 13

87Y Plantation Elementary

87Z Plantation Elementary

88 Plantation Elementary

89 Plantation Elementary

90 Girard Park Recreation Center

91 Fire Station No. 12

92 Lafayette Parish School Board Office

93 Comeaux High

94 Comeaux High

95Y Comeaux High

95Z Comeaux High

96Y Southpark Fire Station No. 10

96Z Southpark Fire Station No. 10

97A Southpark Fire Station No. 10

97B Southpark Fire Station No. 10

98 Broussard Police Dept.

101 Broussard Middle

102 Youngsville Middle

103 Youngsville Middle

104Y Fire Station No. 12

104Z Fire Station No. 12

105 Milton Elementary

106 Milton Elementary

107 Youngsville MiddleL

108 Ernest Gallet Elementary

109 Milton Elementary

110 Broussard Middle

111 Ernest Gallet Elementary