I have been a part of three budgets since my election in 2004. The 2009 budget was by far the most challenging. With income falling far below projections, crafting a biennial budget was a daunting task. The fact that we had a billion dollar surplus allowed us to continue to fund areas such as education, medicaid and corrections. The 2011 budget which I supported, structurally balances the budget in both 2011 and 2012 without increasing taxes and also keeps over $1 billion in reserves. It also increases K-12 funding .5% in calendar year 2012 and 1% calendar year 2013.