From 2004 to 2008 the state's annual expenditures increased by nearly 62%--a rate that significantly outpaced population growth and inflation. This run-up in expenditures was not sustainable. Yet, this temporary burst in revenues resulting from the housing boom was spent on annually reoccurring expenditures. When revenue growth showed signs of slowing in fiscal 2008, our former governor, enabled by the Democrats in the Legislature and a handful of Republicans, refused to slow the rate of growth in expenditures. Budget gimmicks and borrowing were used to increase spending even further. This fiscal irresponsibility turned what would have been a manageable downturn in revenues into an unprecedented budget crisis. We must demand more foresight and more fiscal responsibility from our elected officials. We must prohibit spending from growing at such unsustainable rates. When the current downturn in the business cycle ends and revenues begin to increase again, inevitably there will be efforts to borrow or use budget gimmicks to increase spending before we have even closed the structural deficit. I offer a firm commitment that I will be fiscally responsible. In recognition that the state cannot continue to spend money that it does not have, I will not support spending increases funded by a budget that is not structurally balanced.