Wendy Rogers: Send Walt Blackman to the State House

Rarely do I get the opportunity to recommend a fellow retired career military veteran to the Arizona state legislature. Retired Army First Sergeant Walter Blackman served our nation on active duty for 23 years with distinction. I am honored to support this America-loving solid conservative to help him serve his nation again.

My husband and I have come to know Walt closely. His combat experience and leadership of tank troops places him in a class of his own. One thing about tankers, when they get the mission, they finish it with lightning speed.  Walt Blackman led troops of more than 150 soldiers in life and death situations.

I know Walt and his family personally and can testify they are the real deal. Walt listens to the concerns of voters and provides conservative solutions, not government solutions. I’m confident that Walt Blackman will stand up for every person in Arizona, because he knows what it looks like when governments go too far. He saw it in his seven deployments to Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Walt truly believes what makes the United States exceptional is our reverence for the Constitution and its importance as the foundational pillar of this great republic. And along with that, he profoundly respects the rights of individual freedom and personal responsibility. He’s not afraid to be held accountable, which is a rare quality these days.

Walt will ardently defend Pro-Life policies at every level and unceasingly strive to protect those who are least able to protect themselves, the unborn. And if you care about your 2nd Amendment rights, you will see Walt Blackman take point and lead to protect our gun rights.

Please vote for retired First Sergeant Walt Blackman. And instead of casting two possible votes for State House, please cast just one vote for Blackman. That way, he gets more votes to win it.

Wendy Rogers, Lt Col, USAF (ret)
Republican candidate
Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

Speaker JD Mesnard Announces New Committee Assignments

Javan D. Mesnard

Speaker Javan Mesnard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today announced several House committee assignment changes and additions.

Representative Tim Dunn (R-13) will take the place of Representative Mosley (R-5) on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and also serve on the House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee; and the House Land, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.

Representative Dunn has expertise in agriculture and natural resource issues and represents a rural part of the state, so I know his extensive experience will have a positive impact on his committees,” said Speaker Mesnard.

Also, due to the assignment of Representative David Livingston (R-22) as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Speaker Mesnard announced that Majority Leader John Allen (R-15) will take the place of Representative Jeff Weninger (R-17) on the House Banking & Insurance Committee, and will also serve as chair of the committee for the remainder of the session.

Additionally, Representative Becky Nutt (R-14) and Representative Mark Finchem (R-11) will swap assignments on the House Land, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee and the House Federalism, Property Rights & Public Policy Committee, with Representative Nutt assuming Representative Finchem’s duties as vice-chair.

Paul Boyer: Tax reform will help Ariz. small businesses, add jobs

Paul BoyerBy Paul Boyer

2018 is an exciting year for Arizona small businesses, which will be able to take advantage of a new 20 percent tax deduction associated with the recently passed federal tax legislation. These savings will not only benefit state small businesses, but employees, job seekers, and communities as well.

Arizona runs on small business. Our state is home to over 500,000 small businesses (defined by the Small Business Administration as employing 500 or fewer), helping employ nearly one million people. And these numbers are not unique to Arizona. Across the country, small businesses account for over 99 percent of all businesses and a net two-thirds of all new private sector jobs.

But despite the invaluable contribution small businesses had on the economy, for far too long, the structure of the old tax system actively worked against growth, with marginal federal rates reaching 40 percent. This over-taxation put small businesses at an inherent disadvantage.

Under the new tax law, a 20 percent deduction is established for all small business income less than $315,000, and non-professional service business income above that threshold. Roughly 95 percent of small businesses earn less than $315,000, meaning the overwhelming majority will benefit from the full 20 percent deduction.

Consider, for example, how this deduction would help an average Arizona small business earning $200,000 a year. This 20 percent deduction would protect $40,000 from federal taxation, freeing up much-needed resources to create jobs and raise wages. I am already hearing from dozens of businesses around the state about their plans to raise wages, hire employees, and expand with their tax savings.

This excess capital in the private economy will fuel economic growth. Contrary to popular belief, business owners will not simply pocket their tax savings. “They will follow the lead of their big business counterparts, hundreds of which, including AT&T, Comcast, and PNC Bank have used their tax savings to give workers bonuses or raise their wages, creating wealthier and more vibrant communities that touch nearly everyone.

We are even seeing specific examples of these savings here in our home state. Arizona’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service Co, announced its intention to reduce consumer bills, citing the lower corporate tax rate as the driving force behind the decision. These collective cuts could reach nearly $120 million, impacting over 25 million customers.

Arizona Public Service is giving the entirety of their tax cut back to customers. For families on a fixed income, these savings are crucial. They are able to live with a stronger sense of financial security thanks to the recent tax bill.

During my time in the Arizona State Legislature, I’ve encountered businesses longing to share their passions with the world. I witnessed humble business ventures transform into leaders of the Arizona business community. From my experience, a tax cut, like the one recently signed into law, would have done wonders in helping get these businesses off the ground. Now new businesses will finally get the relief they’ve needed for so long.

Tax cuts will give small businesses a lot to look forward to this year, meanwhile all Arizonans will reap the benefits.

Republican Paul Boyer, a high-school literature teacher, is chairman of the Arizona House Education Committee and represents Legislative District 20, based in Phoenix and Glendale. Email him at pboyer@azleg.gov

Representative Jill Norgaard Introduces Legislation to Expand Instruction Options for English Language Learners

Jill NorgaardSTATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Jill Norgaard (R-18) has introduced HB 2281, legislation that will remove the requirement of a four-hour block of daily structured English emersion for English Language Learners if they are enrolled in a dual language program.

HB 2281 passed the House Education Committee with unanimous support, of 9-0.

English Language Learners are K-12 students who are not proficient in the English language, as scored by the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment.

“Studies have shown that dual language programs can be a more effective way to educate English language learners without having to pull students from their core classes for a required four-hour block of daily emersion,” said Representative Norgaard. “Affording schools the flexibility to determine how to best educate their English Language Learners will help prevent students from falling behind and will put the power back in the hands of the teachers and families.”

Speaker Mesnard, Rep Shooter Release Statements on Sexual Harassment

Javan D. Mesnard

Speaker Javan Mesnard

First, this by Speaker of the Arizona House JD Mesnard:

Speaker Mesnard Releases Sexual Harassment Report and Announces Remedial Action

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today released the investigative report on sexual harassment allegations against Representatives Don Shooter (R-13) and Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-23). Speaker Mesnard also announced several actions in response to the report and scheduled a press conference for 4:00 p.m. to discuss those actions.

The report, which is attached, concluded that there is credible evidence that Representative Shooter violated the House of Representative’s policy against sexual harassment. The report did not find credible evidence that Representative Ugenti-Rita violated House policy.

Speaker Mesnard reacted to the report by outlining several remedial actions:

  • Speaker Mesnard is permanently removing Representative Shooter from all committee assignments effective immediately.
  • Speaker Mesnard will furthermore introduce a resolution on the House Floor censuring Representative Shooter for his behavior.
  • Speaker Mesnard will propose augmenting the House rules, which carry the force of law, to require a formal anti-harassment policy by which all Members must abide.
  • Speaker Mesnard will also propose adding a House rule requiring a formal behavioral code of conduct for all Members.
  • Speaker Mesnard will establish a bipartisan panel of Members to fully and transparently develop the behavioral code of conduct for House members.
  • Speaker Mesnard, in his capacity as Speaker, will develop a code of conduct that will apply to all House staff.
  • Speaker Mesnard will formalize a Human Resources Department for the House.
  • Speaker Mesnard will prohibit the consumption of alcohol on House premises.

Speaker Mesnard will hold a press conference this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in House Hearing Room 1 to discuss the remedial actions he has taken.

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Don Shooter

Don Shooter

Then this announcement by Representative Don Shooter:

Representative Don Shooter Releases Statement on Investigative Report

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Don Shooter (R-13) today released the following statement:

“I am reviewing the report released by Speaker Mesnard today in connection with the investigation I requested.  Although I have not finished reading it, I want to thank my colleagues for their patience and professionalism during this process.”

 “I also want to thank the investigators, Craig Morgan and Lindsay Hesketh from the law firm Sherman & Howard.  With so much at stake for so many, their task was no doubt challenging.  I appreciate the seriousness with which they approached their assignment.”

 “This has been a humbling and eye-opening experience for me.  I look forward to working to repair relationships and serving my constituents and our great State.”

 “I will have no further comment.  Thank you.”

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Democrats weigh in on Representative Shooter:

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And the video:

 

Conservative Attorney Marcus Kelley Announces for LD-20 State House

(PHOENIX) – Tuesday, conservative Republican Marcus Kelley announced his candidacy for the State House in legislative district 20. Kelley, an attorney and long-time conservative activist, filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office to represent the district that spans the north of the Phoenix metropolitan area, including parts of Glendale, in one of the district’s two house seats. Both seats will likely become open as Representatives Anthony Kern and Paul Boyer vie for the Senate seat in the Republican Primary.

Kelley who currently works as an attorney with the law firm of Goldman and Zwillinger, has also worked in state and federal government including for former State Senate President Andy Biggs and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Marcus has worked for the American Conservative Union and later for the Republican Study Committee when then-Congressman Mike Pence was the Chairman. He graduated from the University of Arizona and the Cardozo School of Law. Kelley also serves on the governing board of a local charter school.

“I am seeking a seat in the Arizona House to continue bringing a conservative voice to public policy matters,” Kelley stated. “My years of experience coupled with my track record of consistent conservatism on the issues will represent the constituents of LD-20 well,” he asserted.

On the issues, Kelley is a strong social and fiscal conservative. He is pledged to reducing taxes and spending in a balanced and prioritized budget. He is solidly pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and is an outspoken supporter of the Second Amendment.

Kelley and his wife, Nickie, have been married for more than 13 years and have two children who attend a local charter school.

TJ Shope, Frank Pratt Named 2017 Legislative Champions by League of Arizona Cities and Towns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker Pro Tempore T.J. Shope (R-8) and Senator Frank Pratt (R-8) last week were named 2017 Legislative Champions by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

The Legislative Champions award is given to legislators to honor their outstanding public service and dedication to local governance.

“I am honored to be named a 2017 Legislative Champion by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Shope. “Our work together ensures that communities across the state continue to grow into better places to live, work, and play.

“I am thrilled to be honored by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns,” said Senator Pratt. “Their dedication to support city and local leadership at the legislature is an asset to our state.

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is a membership-based organization comprised of municipalities throughout Arizona and provides a bridge from local cities and towns to the state legislature.

Shope Pratt

TJ Shope & Frank Pratt

Speaker Mesnard Applauds Court Decision Allowing Initiative Compliance Law to Take Effect

Arizona Seal

JD Mesnard

JD Mesnard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today applauded a decision by the Arizona Superior Court allowing legislation (HB 2244) passed by the Legislature earlier this year to take effect tomorrow.  HB 2244 creates uniformity, provides greater clarity, and ensures integrity in the signature-gathering process for initiatives and referenda by compelling strict compliance with requirements set forth in statute and the Constitution.

“Because the Legislature doesn’t have the ability to address unintended consequences created by initiatives, it’s important that initiative campaigns strictly comply with the law,” said Speaker Mesnard.  “I’m pleased with the Court’s decision and look forward to the implementation of the law.”

The new law goes into effect tomorrow, August 9.

Bridger Kimball Announces for Arizona’s LD-11 House Seat

Bridger Kimball

Former Maricopa City Councilman Bridger Kimball Announces Bid for the Arizona House of Representatives in LD11

Maricopa, AZ –  Recently, Bridger Kimball filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to officially kick-off his campaign to fill the open house seat of Arizona’s legislative district 11. 

Kimball is a military veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps until his service was cut abruptly by a significant non-combat injury which led to an honorable medical discharge.  

Kimball is also a small business owner where he serves as president of the popular Rangemasters Shooting Range (d.b.a. Caswells Shooting Range).

In 2012, Kimball was elected to the City Council of Maricopa where he learned the value of being a public servant and working with others to make Maricopa a great place to live and raise a family.

“All my life I have wanted to serve whether it was in our nation’s military, community or government,” said Kimball. “Arizona has always been my home where, if elected, I will fight to improve our education system, protect 2nd amendment rights, support small businesses and honor our military veterans.”

Kimball is an Arizona native and was born in Mesa and has been residing in the city of Maricopa since 2003 with his wife Mary and their two amazing children, Keegan, 13, and Liam, 11.

Republicans Pass Budget That Raises Teacher Pay by $1,000 Above Inflation

Republicans Pass Budget That Raises Teacher Pay by $1,000 Above Inflation and Invests Over $300 Million in New K-12 Spending

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) and Senate President Steve Yarbrough (R-17) this morning applauded passage of a budget that increases teacher pay by an average of $1,000 and adds over $300 million for K-12 education.

“Republicans in the Legislature and Governor Ducey have worked hard to craft a budget that reflects Arizonans’ top priority: education,” said Speaker Mesnard.  “This budget includes a $1,000 raise beyond inflation for public school teachers, over $300 million in new K-12 spending, a massive investment in university research facilities and infrastructure, and dozens of other provisions that boost education funding.”

“Conservative budgeting over the past few years put extra money in our state coffers,” said President Yarbrough.  “With that, this year we boosted teacher paychecks, provided funding for school repairs and the construction of six new schools, targeted tens of millions of dollars to schools getting results, guaranteed yearly funding for university building projects and provided an additional $30 million to repair our roads.  We also delivered a broad-based tax cut and left the state with a structurally-balanced budget.  I’d say the people of Arizona are better off because of this state budget.”

Highlights of the budget:

·         In addition to inflation and growth increases, directs $68 million over two years for an average $1,000 raise for public school teachers.

·         Appropriates $62.9 million for new school construction projects.

·         Provides $37.6 million for Results-Based Funding for K-12 education.

·         Offsets the impact of Prop. 206 on the developmentally disabled community by directing $45 million to the Department of Economic Security and AHCCCS.

·         Demonstrates a commitment to rural transportation by appropriating $30 million to the Highway User Revenue Fund.

·         Appropriates $27 million to provide debt service to allow universities to construct new facilities through bonding that could exceed $1 billion in value in future years.