Budget Adds $50 Million For COVID-19 Response

Budget Adds $50 Million For COVID-19 Response

PHOENIX⁠ — Earlier today, Governor Ducey signed a bipartisan state budget agreement, that I voted for, which adds $50 million for Arizona’s COVID-19 response — dollars to assist Arizonans needing eviction assistance, struggling small businesses, our food banks and our homeless population.The budget also fully funds essential services—such as child safety and public safety—while completing the 20×2020 teacher pay raise and adding new dollars for schools and resources to repair prison locks. Governor Ducey issued a signing letter along with today’s budget package. In it he said:“I …

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Distance Learning is a Solution for Today

Distance Learning is a Solution for Today

The Mercatus Center at George Washington has long been a respected public policy analysis center, and I am glad the folks there are examining educational pathways. “As more states make the decision to cease classroom learning for the remainder of the school year, the potential of moving 41 million students online will be no easy task.” Today, an essay by Jonathan Butcher titled, “Public-Private Virtual School Partnerships and Federal Flexibility for Schools During the Coronavirus,” argues that policymakers should look to existing state charter school laws …

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Reprint: Turning Arizona Into New Jersey

Reprint: Turning Arizona Into New Jersey

Turning Arizona Into New Jersey

WSJ Editorial, Sat., Aug. 25, 2018

Public unions fund initiatives to raise taxes and kill school choice.

The battle for Congress is drawing most media attention this year, but an underreported story is the campaign by public unions to turn multiple states sharply to the left. A bellwether is Arizona, where a pair of ballot initiatives would raise taxes toward New Jersey levels and reverse years of progress on education choice.

Unions have spearheaded two ballot initiatives to repeal an expansion of education-savings accounts …

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Worth Repeating…”Teacher Vacancies Down”

Worth Repeating…”Teacher Vacancies Down”

Arizona Public Media: TUSD Supe: Teacher Vacancies Down, Fewer Than 1 Per School
Superintendent Trujillo says the increase in teacher pay from the state funding helped the district hire more people.

Brandon Mejia
Arizona Public Media
August 1, 2018

As kids in Tucson’s largest school district head back to class Thursday, the district has fewer teacher vacancies than in recent years, according to Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo.

The district’s goal was to have fewer than one teacher vacancy per school in the district. For that to happen, TUSD would …

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Arizona Momentum is Top-10 Strong

Arizona Momentum is Top-10 Strong

While Democrats continue to play divisional politics, we Republicans are showing real leadership. In large part due to the public policy decisions, Arizona now ranks #5 for economic momentum, and in the Top 10 for personal income growth, employment growth and population growth. People are fleeing states that have engaged in reckless spending and the high tax environment that hits the middle class and working poor the hardest. Where are they fleeing to? Yup, Arizona; in fact, so many people are coming to Arizona from …

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The Reality of K-12 School Funding

The Reality of K-12 School Funding

The ongoing challenge related to school funding should not be an adversarial, them against us argument, but rather a unified front to claim the solutions that are within reach. In every state, K-12 education funding is paid for with state and federal taxpayer dollars. Each state has its scheme for what to tax, how to tax it and how much taxpayers pay into the plan. There are three basic issues at the foundation of the matter.

Tax Base and who controls it
Tax Rate and who pays …

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Call for AG Opinion on ABOR Authority

Call for AG Opinion on ABOR Authority

The Arizona Board of Regents has been in the news a lot lately, and so it will be for many months to come.

In the course of conducting due diligence regarding the authority of ABOR and the Legislature I asked the Arizona Attorney General to provide a written, informal opinion paper on what authority each body has, and where it comes from.  The request was made this past September as part of a larger effort to examine the restructuring of ABOR.

Yesterday’s press release…

Representative Mark Finchem Requests …

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Bias In The Media? Yer Kidd’in

Bias In The Media? Yer Kidd’in

How About A Little Integrity?
In his recent recent Op-Ed, Abe Kwok of the Arizona Republic stated the following:
 
“At the Capitol, lawmakers who so championed ESAs, such as Sen. Debbie Lesko, have been less enthusiastic about authorizing money for oversight that the law entitles and silent about the opaque inspection of the program”
 
There was one small problem with Abe’s statement, it was blatantly inaccurate.  Abe has been asked to correct his statement publicly to reflect the fact that the legislature did indeed take into account the …

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Where Does It All Go?

Where Does It All Go?

The Fiscal Year 2018 State of Arizona Budget totals over $9.86 Billion and taxpayers are funding a lot of priorities.  The highest among them is Education.

Budget Basics
Each year, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Staff publishes an Appropriations Report, which includes summary information on the most recently enacted budget and agency-by-agency details.  The Report reads like a book including both numbers and descriptions of what the Legislature intends to see happen with the appropriations that are authorized on behalf of the Taxpayers.  In this book, you …

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Endorsements a Vote of Confidence

Endorsements a Vote of Confidence

As endorsements mount for my re-election I am given pause to consider that my positions reflect the concerns, wishes and priorities of the LD-11 constituency.  I’ve learned of the following endorsements over the last few weeks giving me encouragement that the cultural values I stand for align well with what my constituents want done.

Job Creator endorsements:

Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA),
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB),
Arizona Mining Association (AMA)
Arizona Trucking Association (ATA)

Public Safety endorsements:

Arizona State Lodge of he Fraternal Order of Police (AZFOP)
Arizona Police Officers …

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