Congressman Andy Biggs Submits Two Amendments for the REINS Act

Washington, DC (January 4) – Today, Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05) announced that he had submitted two amendments to the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (REINS Act). The REINS Act seeks to restore oversight authority to Congress for any major federal regulation that could potentially cost the U.S. economy at least $100 million. Congressman Biggs also testified in front of the House Rules Committee on behalf of his two amendments this afternoon.

“I am pleased to have offered up two amendments to the REINS Act and to have defended the amendments in the Rules Committee,” Biggs said. “Many small businesses and individuals in my district have been negatively affected by the ripple effect caused by an out-of-control rules-making process by unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucrats. I promised my constituents that I would strongly support the REINS Act, and I have kept my promise. I will continue to push for the passage of the REINS Act to ensure that Congress takes back this very-important job of rule-making oversight.”

Watch Congressman Biggs’ testimony in front of the Rules Committee.

Congressman Biggs offered the following two amendments to the REINS Act:

Amendment #4: Defines all rules promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency as “major.”

Amendment #5: Lowers the annual economic effect threshold for a major rule from $100,000,000 to $50,000,000.

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Congressman Andy Biggs is a first-term Representative from Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District, representing parts of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Sun Lakes, and Queen Creek. He lives with his wife Cindy in Gilbert.

Bill Beard Announces Run for Arizona Republican Party Treasurer

Bill BeardBill Beard, immediate past-Chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, announces run for Arizona GOP Treasurer

Bill Beard, former Chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, has announced he is running to be the Arizona GOP Treasurer.

I ask all elected Republican State Committeemen for your vote at the Arizona State Republican Party statutory meeting on Saturday, January 28th, 2017.

I’m a native of Southern Arizona and believe that additional representation from Pima County is crucial for carrying many Statewide elections. In 2012, I took on a 20-year Democrat incumbent to run for the office of Pima County Recorder and was the first Republican to do so since the entrenched incumbent’s first election.

I served as the 2014-16 chairman of the Pima County Republican Party and was able during my tenure to reduce the County Party’s overhead expenses by more than 60%. I will bring that same fiscal responsibility to the State Party.

During my Chairmanship we flipped the Democrats’ decades-long hold on the office of Pima County Sheriff, no small feat considering the enormous registration deficit that Republicans have in Pima County. Like the Pima leadership in this last cycle I want to keep the statewide efforts focused on
the task at hand in the next…electing Republicans in the General Election. As your Treasurer I will keep the resources of the state party focused on that end each day. In joining the new Executive Committee I will help raise the funds to meet those needs.

I bring over 30 years of business ownership and management experience to the table. I have managed multimillion-dollar budgets that required lengthy research and attention to detail to differentiate between local, state and federal reporting requirements.

I serve as a current member of the Pima County Election Integrity Commission.

I ask for your vote.

Respectfully,
Bill Beard

Representative-elect David Stringer endorses Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman

Chris Herring

SURPRISE, ARIZ (December 29) – Today, Representative-elect David Stringer (LD 1) endorsed Chris Herring for Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman. LD 1 covers parts of northern Maricopa County.

“Chris Herring fights to expand liberty and to reduce government – not just in Maricopa County, but across the state,” Stringer said. “He believes in local control, less government, and the importance of adherence to the Constitution as it was written. Bold, young conservatives are the future of our party, and Chris has my support to be the next chairman of Maricopa County.”

“Representative-elect Stringer has already proven to be a strong friend to grassroots Republicans in his district,” Herring said. “I look forward to supporting his work in the Arizona House of Representatives and to working with him to elect and empower conservative Republicans in Maricopa County.”

Representative-elect David Stringer joins U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Senator Debbie Lesko, Senator Judy Burges, Senator-elect Steve Montenegro, Representative Jill Norgaard, Representative Anthony Kern, Representative David Livingston, Representative Phil Lovas, Representative Justin Olson, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring in endorsing Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman.

Representative Justin Olson endorses Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman

Chris Herring

SURPRISE, AZ – (December 20) – Today, Representative Justin Olson (LD 25) endorsed Chris Herring for Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman.

“Chris is a strong conservative, and a capable leader for Maricopa County,”Olson said. “As a champion of smaller government and reducing taxes, I know I have an ally in Chris. He understands the Republican principles of small government and states’ rights, and he will fight for the Republican Party platform.”Justin Olson
“I am thankful for Representative Olson’s endorsement,” Herring said. “My candidacy for MCRC Chairman is attracting the support of elected officials and conservative leaders from all around the county, and I look forward to serving them and our hard-working grassroots members should I be elected chairman.”

Representative Justin Olson joins U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Senator Debbie Lesko, Senator Judy Burges, Senator-elect Steve Montenegro, Representative Jill Norgaard, Representative Anthony Kern, Representative David Livingston, Representative Phil Lovas, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring in endorsing Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman.

SRP: We’re Lowering Our Prices

This just in from SRP. Their customers are receiving this email Monday morning:

We’re pleased to announce that SRP is temporarily lowering prices for the second time in less than a year. The 10-month reduction will be in effect for the January through October 2017 billing cycles.

The decrease will save the typical residential customer just under a dollar per month during the winter billing months and approximately $2.50 to $3.50 per month during the summer billing months. Prices will return to the original winter season prices with the November 2017 billing cycle.

We are able to lower prices for these reasons:

  • The continued low price of natural gas, which is a primary fuel in many power plants
  • Careful management, which is enabling us to meet our environmental program goals at lower-than-expected costs
  • Greater-than-anticipated energy sales

Sincerely,
SRP

Customers can then click on a link in the SRP email that takes them to the SRP newsroom where they can read details about the rate reduction:

SRP Board OKs $40 Million Price Decrease
Temporary Measure will Reduce Prices by an Average 1.6 % for next 10 Months

For the second time in less than a year, SRP’s Board of Directors has approved a decrease in electricity prices for its more than 1 million customers. The 10–month temporary decrease, effective with the January 2017 billing cycle, averages an overall 1.6 percent.

The decrease will save the typical residential customer just under a dollar per month during the winter billing months and around $2.50 to $3.50 per month when the summer billing season begins in May. Prices will return to original winter season prices approved in 2015 with the November 2017 billing cycle.

“Utility customers are generally more used to seeing price increases than decreases, so we are very happy to be able to lower our prices,” said SRP General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bonsall. “At SRP, our team works hard to identify market opportunities and cut costs where possible to keep our prices low, and this temporary decrease is reflective of our success in these areas.”

The temporary decrease is possible because SRP has been able to reduce expenses in two components of its electric prices.

One of the price components – the Environmental Programs Cost Adjustment Factor, or EPCAF – tracks costs and revenues related to SRP’s renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs adopted to comply with SRP’s sustainable portfolio standard. The temporary reduction reflects SRP’s ability to meet its sustainable goals at a lower cost to customers.

SRP’s Board has set a goal to meet 20 percent of SRP’s retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020. Currently, SRP is ahead of schedule –providing more than 14 percent of retail energy needs with sustainable resources, which include solar, wind and geothermal energy, hydro power and energy-efficiency programs. SRP currently has 746 megawatts of renewable energy owned or under contract in its system.

The second component – the Fuel and Purchased Power Adjustment Mechanism, or FPPAM – recovers fuel costs incurred to generate electricity as well as power purchases to serve customer needs. Savings in this area are primarily because of lower-than-anticipated natural gas costs.

The costs of these two components to SRP are directly passed through to customers without any markup. SRP previously instituted a temporary reduction of 3.7 percent in the EPCAF and FPPAM for the 2016 July and August billing cycles.

The latest temporary reduction will decrease EPCAF and FPPAM revenue collection by about $40 million.

SRP is a community–based, not–for–profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP also is the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre–feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.

Arizona Free Enterprise Club: The Harmful Effects of Prop 206 Begin to Sink In

Arizona Free Enterprise Club

It has only been a month and the recently approved minimum wage initiative, Proposition 206, is already inflicting permanent damage on Arizona’s Economy, hardworking taxpayers and our most vulnerable and needy residents.

Similar to previous proposals, Prop 206 was sold on the idea that Arizona could raise its minimum wage to $12 an hour (adjusted for inflation every year thereafter) and require employers offer mandated paid sick leave to employees without any negative repercussions.  Reading the fine print of Prop 206 exposed this fraudulent claim; as the funders of the initiative (California Unions) exempted collective bargaining agreements from critical components of the initiative.  If this was so good, why exempt themselves from it?

Now the debilitating impacts of Prop 206 are being felt, and they are far more widespread and catastrophic than even the opponents of the initiative realized.  While it wasn’t a secret that Arizona businesses would face hard choices in order to comply with the wage hike, some of the worst hit organizations will be those that serve the neediest and most vulnerable populations in our state.  Currently in-home care services, many of which aid fragile and feeble seniors, range from $20-$24 an hour.   These services will go up;pricing out many of these seniors on fixed-incomes from receiving the care they desperately need or force more individuals onto state welfare rolls.

The developmentally disabled in our community will also be devastated by Proposition 206.  According to the President and CEO of the Centers for Habilitation and member of the Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities, some providers will be forced to close operations as soon as January 1, 2017.

Some of these providers have contracts with the State of Arizona that set the reimbursement rates.  This means the state will be forced to allocate more taxpayer money to cover the higher costs.  If the state doesn’t cough up more tax dollars to address these needs, thousands of developmentally disabled in Arizona will be left without vital care.

It only gets worse from here.

Many subdivisions of the state such as school districts will also be deeply impacted by the voter mandate.  Positions such as cross walk guards cafeteria workers and bus drivers, many of which are part time positions, represent a significant aggregate cost to schools; costs which were neither anticipated nor planned for by districts or the state.

For Chandler Unified School District, Prop 206’s passage represents a $1.1 million hit to their budget.  Agua Fria Union High School District in the West Valley, $123,500.  Peoria Unified District – $1.1 million by 2020.  And Sahuarita District in southern Arizona $907,576.   These are tremendous costs which will necessitate the diversion of other resources from teachers and students or require more monies from taxpayers.

And although the law does not apply to state or federal agencies, many government departments will still be on the hook.  The State of Arizona has expenditure obligations for school districts as well as private contracts through AHCCCS (Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment Center System).  But the legislature has already passed a budget for 2017.  These additional costs were not included in the state’s budget.

Many voters that supported Prop 206 were not aware of the harmful effects this initiative would cause. Yet unlike bills proposed and passed at the legislature, there was no independent review, hearings, or public comment process of the initiative language to inform voters of these inevitable issues.

Now, even if voters wanted these issues fixed, Prop 206 can’t be modified because Arizona initiatives are bound by the strictest voter protection law in the country.  Once a measure is passed at the ballot, it can’t be changed unless it is sent back to the voters, and that can’t happen for two years.

As the saying goes, “elections have consequences.”  We suspect that the consequences of Prop 206, however, are not what Arizona voters signed up for.

Arizona LD-22 Legislators Endorse Chris Herring for Maricopa County GOP Chairman

Chris Herring

SURPRISE, ARIZ (December 15) – Today, three legislators from Legislative District 22 – Senator Judy Burges, Representative David Livingston, and Representative Phil Lovas – endorsed Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman. The LD 22 legislative team hails from the heart of CD 8, and have done great work to advance conservative values and principles across Arizona while holding their elected offices.

“Chris Herring is a remarkable young man who possesses deeply-rooted, pro-family values, sees the Constitution as the foundation on which our country has remained free, and desires to join President Donald Trump in ‘Making America Great Again,'” Burges said. “Our Republican values need to breathe new life into our state and nation. Won’t you join me in supporting Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman?”

“I’m supporting Chris Herring for MCRC Chair, and I’m asking that you would, too,” Livingston said.”Chris Herring was an exceptional chair of LD 21, which borders my district; and he was always a friend and ally of conservative legislators. Chris Herring knows what it takes to win elections, and I am confident that he will help to unify our party and help us to adhere to our platform as well.”

“I am very supportive of Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman and Aaron Flannery for 1st Vice Chairman,”Lovas said. “Chris worked very hard to turn out votes in his district and throughout the county for the entire Republican ticket in 2016 and Aaron ran a strong campaign for recorder.  To win elections, we need a chairman committed to working with grassroots Republicans and raising money to help the entire ticket.  Please join me in supporting Chris and Aaron.”

“I have been very fortunate to have built such strong relationships with many conservative members of our Arizona legislators – our LD 22 team being no exception,” Herring said. These three elected officials don’t just talk the talk, but they walk the walk each and every day. LD 22 is in a great position with Senator Burges, Representative Livingston, and Representative Lovas leading the way, and I look forward to working with them to help elect Maricopa County Republicans should I be elected as the MCRC chairman.”

Senator Judy Burges, Representative David Livingston, and Representative Phil Lovas join U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Senator Debbie Lesko, Senator-elect Steve Montenegro, Representative Jill Norgaard, Representative Anthony Kern, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring in endorsing Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman.

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Chris Herring is a lifelong Republican, who first registered to vote as a teenager in Los Angeles County. As a Valley resident for the past eight years, Chris loves living in a state where conservative principles are fought for on a daily basis. Chris earned a bachelors degree in history and a graduate degree in business management, two disciplines he believes will contribute to his ability to make the county party a more effective organization. Chris looks forward to working with our conservative grassroots committeemen across Maricopa County. He lives in Surprise with his wife and son.

Jonathan Lines Announces Support for AG Brnovich Office to Protect 2nd Amendment

 

Candidate for AZGOP Chairman Supports Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s Repeal of Tucson Gun Ordinance

Jonathan Lines

Jonathan Lines

PHOENIX​ — Today, Jonathan Lines, a candidate for the Chairmanship of the Arizona Republican Party announced his support for Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich and the Attorney General’s Office. This week, Attorney General Brnovich filed a petition to repeal Tucson’s unlawful gun ordinance. State law prohibits the government from destroying firearms, which the City of Tucson instructed its police officers to do upon seizing firearms.

According to SB 1487, if an Attorney General finds a local government violating the constitution or state law, the Attorney General is then required to file a Petition for Special Action. Representative Mark Finchem submitted the request to have an investigation into the City of Tucson’s gun ordinance.

“I wholeheartedly support Attorney General Brnovich’s petition that asks the Arizona Supreme Court to rule on Tucson’s illegal gun ordinance,” said Lines. “As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I find the City of Tucson’s actions reprehensible and view it as an attack on our constitutionally protected freedom. However, this is a broader issue than an attack on the Second Amendment: this is an encroachment on our personal freedoms by the government. A bloated government — especially one that oversteps its boundaries — is dangerous to any democracy.

“I am thankful that we have strong, principled conservative leaders in our state, like Mark Brnovich, who will stand up to unlawful abuses of power and personal or political agendas.”

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The election of a new AZGOP Chairman will take place on January 28th at the Statutory Meeting and will be voted on by newly elected State Committeeman from every district or county committee.

For more information about Jonathan Lines, go to www.linesforazgop.com.

AZ Treasurer Jeff DeWit: Endowment Investments Outperformed Most US Endowment & Pensions

AZ Treasurer
PHOENIX
– As 2016 comes to a close, the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund has beat industry benchmarks by a wider margin than in previous years.

Jeff DeWit“This is recognition of the hard work and incredible staff at the State Treasurer’s office,” Treasurer DeWit said.

The fund beat many of the large public investment funds in the United States including CalPERS, CalSTERS, Dartmouth, MIT, Stanford and Harvard.

“Our conservative, America first portfolio of 1,500 stocks and 405 bonds show that keeping our own staff and not outsourcing the management of Arizona’s money to Wall Street not only saves the state tens of millions in fees but also has produced better results,” DeWit said.

The $5.3 billion Endowment returned 3.32% in the last fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. This compares to the median one-year return of negative -0.74% for all endowments, according to results published by Wilshire Associates and reported by Bloomberg, LLC.  By these metrics, in the first full fiscal year under Treasurer DeWit Arizona’s endowment outperformed Wall Street’s average by over 4%.  This outperformance has continued through the end of November, to soon be reported at the upcoming December Arizona Board of Investment meeting.

Further, the Endowment has outperformed all of Arizona’s public pension funds during the same time period.

“This past year has been exceptional for the State’s Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund, the returns will benefit K-12 education for many years to come. Being a father of three school aged daughters and husband to a wife who was a public school teacher, it makes me very happy to know that the hard work being done in our office will benefit not only current school children and taxpayers, but all future generations of school children and taxpayers.” DeWit said.

Deputy Treasurer Mark Swenson added “Also, this shows the foresight of voters to have selected someone with an extensive background in investments.  Treasurer DeWit brings a wealth of financial knowledge to the office which has been instrumental in the outperformance of our returns.”

As a statewide constitutional officer, Treasurer DeWit serves as the state’s Banker and Investment Official for the State of Arizona, charged with the prudent custody and management of taxpayer monies and oversight of more than $13.8 billion in assets under management.

AZSOS Michele Reagan: Remembering Pearl Harbor, 75 Years Later

The Arizona Capitol Museum presents:

Remember Pearl Harbor, 75 Years LaterUSS Arizona Memorial

WHAT: 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. entry into WWII
WHERE: Arizona Capitol Museum, 1700 W. Washington Street, Phoenix
WHEN:  December 7, at the Arizona Capitol Museum
WHY: Special presentation of rare artifacts, for a solemn occasion

In remembrance of the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the AZCM is unveiling its special collection of rarely seen USS Arizona artifacts, including a never before displayed U.S. Flag rescued from the USS Arizona.   In addition, for one day only, the Capitol Museum will display several unique items including a 1918 seaman’s diary; brass and silver Navy bugle; 1940 handmade USS Arizona baseball team pennant and a historic piece of the U.S.S. Arizona itself.

Also on December 7th the AZCM will premiere its collaboration with the Google Cultural Institute.  This ongoing partnership provides the museum with a permanent online portal to showcase the gems of our collection, starting with the USS Arizona Silver Service and many other artifacts from the collection. Viewable online at: Google.com/culturalinstitute (content unavailable until Dec. 7)

The Arizona Capitol Museum is in some ways a home away from home for members of the Pearl Harbor and World War II service community.  The museum is the only place outside of Hawaii with artifacts and permanent exhibits, including the ship’s silver service, dedicated to the USS Arizona, and its loss on December 7, 1941.