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.
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
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