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.

Guest Opinion: Single Shot Syms

By Cactus Cantina Chats

With ten more days remaining until the August 30th primary election let’s focus on Legislative District 28 (LD 28).  Republican primary voters have a real chance to nominate a successful, well-educated female candidate to serve on their behalf in one of two legislative House seats for the next two years.  Maria Syms is the only candidate running in LD28 with the potential to win in November and serve honorably for the State of Arizona.  Please use your two votes to push her through the Republican primary.

Let’s take a look at Syms’ competition for the two House seats, and then evaluate Syms’ impressive background:

Ken Bowers, Jr. is the final candidate running for the Arizona House. It is quite difficult to know too much about who he is and where he stands on the issues because he has also decided to ignore candidate surveys issues by different associations and groups representing causes or industries throughout Arizona. He seems to only care about reforming Arizona’s correctional system and hasn’t given much thought to the broader issues facing Arizona’s future.

Alberto Gutier, III is an active PC in LD28.  Unfortunately, he has not taken the time to fill out any candidate surveys or set up a website sharing his viewpoints on the issues. Nice guys typically don’t finish first in a competitive legislative race.

Mary Hamway is an uber liberal Republican In Name Only (RINO) candidate who is a retread from the 2014 election cycle. Hamway has spent so much time as a Paradise Valley town councilmember raising taxes and cutting funding for cops that she single-handedly jeopardizes a prosperous future for Arizona.  Since Mary lacks the spine to vote publicly she and several of her other Big Government crony councilmembers rely on closed door executive sessions so they don’t have to truly make a public statement of town council matters.  Hamway talks out of both sides of her mouth if you can bear to listen to her speak.  Hamway has been an arduous proponent of Medicaid expansion and common core over the past several years.  Hamway self-funded her 2014 loser campaign to the tune of nearly $100,000. After she lost to Bolick, she had her husband make a $500 campaign contribution to liberal pro-choice Democrat Eric Meyer. It is not surprising Hamway has been endorsed by the former Mayor of Paradise Valley, Scott Le Marr, who once served on the Planned Parenthood board.

Matt Morales is a moderate Republican precinct committeeman (PC) in LD28 who has been a registered lobbyist on behalf of the vaping and gaming industries.  Need we highlight any more of his resume to illustrate that he is not a conservative choice.  Morales likes to tell his fellow Republican voters how he encouraged Kate McGee in 2010 to use her maiden name “Brophy” to get elected to the Arizona House of Representatives.  In 2014, Morales boasted of being Adam Driggs’ campaign manager.  At the same time Morales worked on an Independent Expenditure (IE) to benefit only McGee and Driggs in the general election.  Considering there was one additional Republican on the ballot for the other House seat this speaks volumes to Morales’ lack of character in electing Republicans to two House seats. One last point: it is laughable that Morales’ campaign signs say “conservative” and “personal freedom.”  He answered the Arizona Voter Guide’s survey which is sponsored by Center for Arizona Policy as supportive of a living Constitution.

Maria Syms

Maria Syms

Fortunately, LD28 has Maria Syms as their only conservative choice!  She has taken the time to thoughtfully share her views on the issues in support or opposition against many policy issues facing Arizona.  Syms has served honorably on her short time on the Paradise Valley Town Council.  There aren’t many city elected officials who don’t vote in lockstep to vote for a tax increase, but Syms is one who has encouraged thoughtful conversation while holding the line on tax increases. If she wasn’t running for the Legislature she would be a perfect addition to Arizona’s Justice system.  Her past job titles include: Assistant U.S. Attorney, Senior Adviser to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich plus she is a Mom of three children spanning the school choice spectrum so she fully grasps education and opportunity for all!

When you vote by early ballot, or vote in person on August 30th please only vote for Syms! She is the real deal and the only choice to represent LD28 honorably.

Arizona House Speaker Gowan Tries to Hide From Arizona’s Open Records Law

Defend Rural Arizona
Two and a half months after a request was issued to the Arizona House, a request for records relating to Speaker Gowan’s travel remains unfulfilled
Earlier this year, embattled House Speaker David Gowan had to pay back $12,000 in expenditures after audits found he had requested mileage reimbursements for travel unrelated to state business, had claimed mileage while using a state vehicle, or had been granted a per diem for days when he was not doing state work.  Subsequent press investigations found that a substantial amount of his allegedly “official” travel was taken to areas within Congressional District 1, and questions remain as to the extent of his attempts to use state resources to subsidize campaign travel.For this reason Defend Rural Arizona issued a request for the Speaker’s travel records on March 24.  DRA still has not received any files from the speaker or his office.  The only communication we have received is confirmation from May 5 that our request had been received and would be processed.

Under the Arizona Public Records law, A.R.S. § 39-121.01(D)(1), “The custodian of such records shall promptly furnish such copies, printouts or photographs.”  Failing to furnish requested information for more than two months does not seem to fit with the definition of “prompt” disclosure.

“This is a classic example of a career politician who thinks he’s above the law.  It should come as no surprise that he is under investigation,” said James Harris of Defend Rural Arizona.  “We believe the people of Arizona have a right to know if Speaker Gowan is improperly using his office to further his political career, and we encourage Speaker Gowan to stop dragging his feet and release these records.”

A copy of the original records request can be viewed here, while a copy of the response received from the House Republican Caucus Press Secretary can be viewed here.

Priorities: Governing vs. Campaigning

By East Valley Evan

It’s that weird time of the political season when conflicts arise revealing where politicians’ priorities really are.

Yesterday, leaders of the Arizona House and Senate reached a deal on how to divvy up sections of Governor Ducey’s budget proposal. That deal will be revealed today.

Setting aside the details of the deal, it’s worth pointing out where leaders of both chambers are spending their time as this process unfolds.

Every legislator acknowledges that the most important part of their job is to pass a budget that establishes the financial priorities for the State of Arizona. It’s what voters elect candidates to do and it’s the epitome of responsibility for legislators once elected.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]When it comes down to governing or campaigning, governing should always take priority.[/pullquote]

Citizens would think and expect leadership in the House and Senate to treat this constitutional obligation with the utmost attention. Apparently that obligation can take a back seat  if you’re a candidate for another office while holding down your leadership position in the legislature.

House Speaker David Gowan got it right (although he is avoiding interaction with members of the media these days) when he skipped a CD-1 candidate forum in Casa Grande Monday night. He stuck around the legislature to make sure the House wrapped up the budget deal.

It wasn’t the same on the Senate side. Senate President Andy Biggs was nowhere to be found in the State of Arizona. Instead, he is making the rounds in Washington, DC trying to raise money for his next government gig. According to the Arizona Republic:

Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler — who was acting as Senate president while Andy Biggs was in Washington, D.C., Monday fundraising for a congressional campaign… 

Senate President Biggs who has become the professional career politician obviously feels the need to fly back to Washington, rub elbows with lobbyists and return home with a bundle of campaign cash.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in the House and Senate will work through the details on how best to spend Arizona taxpayer dollars.

It’s all about priorities.

~ He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much (Luke 16:10)

Judah Nativio Announces Run for Arizona House in Legislative District 16

In case you missed it…

Judah Nativio

The East Valley, with the right leadership, can become the future economic engine of Arizona by possessing the best schools and the best opportunities for businesses; but, it will take pro-education and pro-growth policies to make it happen.”

Mesa – Arizona businessman Judah Nativio announced his run for Arizona House of Representative in Legislative District 16. In addition to Nativio’s ten years of business experience, he currently serves on the Queen Creek School District Board.

Mesa District 6 City Councilman Kevin Thompson is serving as Nativio’s Campaign Chair. In speaking on Nativio’s leadership experience, Thompson said, “I have known Judah for several years, and was extremely honored when he asked me to be part of his campaign. He is passionate about our communities, passionate about education, and passionate about being our voice at the legislature.”

On his school board service, Queen Creek High School Principal Dr. Joseph Farnsworth said, “As a member of the school board, and as a business conservative, Judah found new ways to measure our funding and success so the district can continually improve.”

Nativio, speaking on his campaign, said, “I believe the East Valley will become the future economic engine of Arizona as long as we establish pro-growth and pro-education policies, which I intend to fight for. I am committed to making Arizona a better place for not only my family but for the families and businesses that live in our great state.”

In addition to Thompson’s support, prominent local businessman Trevor Hansen also joined Nativio’s campaign. “Judah lives in my community and has done a great job serving the residents through his work on the local school board,” said Hansen. “Through his leadership, a brand new school is now serving southeast Mesa. Judah believes, as I do, in the importance of education in building a strong community where families and businesses can succeed.”

Nativo’s legislative focus is education, economic growth, and championing the elimination of burdensome regulation on Arizona’s small business community. Nativio is committed to making Arizona a better place for individuals, families, and businesses.

To learn more about Judah Nativio and his plan for Legislative District 16, please visit his website at www.judahnativio.com or his Facebook Page.

Vote for Darla DaWald to the House in LD-8 House

My message to the voters in LD-8:

My name is Shane Wikfors and I’ve been a conservative Republican activist in Arizona politics for almost 25 years.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of great candidates and I’ve seen a lot of political posers come and go. Some have gotten elected to office where they’ve done great things for Arizona while others have taken the state down the wrong path into fiscal and social ruin.

One candidate I have tremendous confidence in to do the right thing is Darla Dawald. Darla got involved because the country was coming apart at the seams and heading in the wrong direction.

Darla is a consistent constitutional conservative Republican who will reduce state spending, lower the tax burden, balance the budget, reform government institutions and say no to more federal mandates. I have every reason to believe she’ll work at restoring Arizona’s economy to an environment that attracts business, jobs and great talent.

I also believe Darla will be a strong voice and vote for strengthening our communities, our schools, our families and most important, protecting the innocent human life of the unborn.

The race for legislative district eight will be tough but the differences are simple. You can vote for candidates who ushered in Obamacare’s expansion and Common Core. Or, you can vote for a leader who will push back to another Obama big government program with a local more efficient and less costly alternative.

My choice for the house in legislative district eight is Darla Dawald. I hope she’ll be your choice too.

This Primary Election, please vote for Darla Dawald.

My name is Shane Wikfors and I wrote, produced and exercised my first amendment right to bring you this message.

Speaker Heather Carter???

Heather Carter

Heather Carter

I guess I’m a little behind in the rumor mill but this just crossed my input lines. I’ll toss it out to all my legislator friends to confirm.

The rumor is that State Representative Heather Carter has her sights on the House speakership.

How would she accomplish this one may ask?

The first step is to obviously get re-elected to her seat.  Next, she needs the votes of all her Obamacare Republican seatmates. Chances are, a deal was cut sometime ago to whip those votes into place. Carter would then cut a deal with House Democrats to make sure the Republicans (note: these are the majority Republicans who did not vote for Obamacare expansion) don’t hold a majority when it comes to selecting leadership. That deal with Dems would likely include handing over committee chairmanships to Democrats.

The icing on the cake would be all the Brewer-endorsed Republican challengers who defeat the traditional conservative Republican incumbents in the Primary. If all these planets fall into alignment – and it’s not too unrealistic – Heather Carter would have the votes to become Speaker of the House.

This would be a HORRIBLE turn to the left that would take Arizona deep into the purple zone.

For those of you new to the politics of legislative leadership, this is nothing new. Every election, the backroom game is all about who will help who (sharing donors, etc) during the Primary election so that the helpee owes votes to the helper who wants into leadership. The last example of this occurred in 2012 when Steve Pierce used Republican “leadership” PAC money to attack conservative John Fillmore who was in a primary with liberal Rich Crandall. Pierce’s PAC money was successful and Crandall won – only to see him bail on his senate seat for a School Superintendent position in Wyoming (which he  ended up losing later – karma).

What’s the lesson in all this?

Obviously the first major takeaway is to make sure Heather Carter loses her primary race. I’m working on defeating her and I know others are too. But her defeat will be tough because the Governor, Chamber of Commerce and all the corporate cronyists have poured over $150,000 into her race. (You bet they want her as speaker!) Cut her off in the Primary and she is no longer a threat to taking Arizona public policy left.

The other big picture voters should see is that these primaries have become very personal to the Governor and those who supported her Obamacare expansion. For over a year conservatives have said Republicans and Governor Brewer would make Obamacare the litmus test for the 2014 election (Common Core later entered the debate). Well, its happening now. If the supporters of the Governor and her new recruits (challenging her opponents) win, the State of Arizona will take another horrible turn to the left as the rest of the country apparently turns to the right. So this election is about fulfilling promises to the Governor and protecting her legacy in bringing Obamacare expansion to Arizona.

My appeal to readers is this. Defeat the incumbent Obamacare Republicans and the Obamacare challengers in the Primary Election.

Put an end to the agenda of liberal Republicans who would drive Arizona leadership to the left.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane Endorses Jay Lawrence for Arizona House

Jay Lawrence

(SCOTTSDALE) – In yet another major endorsement, Republican Jay Lawrence announced today that he has earned the support of Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. Lawrence, who is seeking an open seat in Legislative District 23, plans to succeed State Representative John Kavanagh in the Arizona House.
 
In his endorsement, Mayor Jim Lane noted:  “Jay Lawrence has been a tremendous servant to the private sector for many years. Now that he’s made the commitment to serve the public, he has my full support to represent and advocate for the best interest of Scottsdale, the District and the State. I know Jay is dedicated to Arizona and will serve our community well. I also believe we are electing a gentleman with impeccable conservative credentials who will do the right thing by his constituents and the State of Arizona.”
 
Mayor Jim Lane, who has been a Scottsdale resident for over 40 years, also remarked on his friendship with Lawrence, “I’ve been a fan and friend of Jay Lawrence for many years and look forward to cheering him on in this next chapter of a very successful career. It will also be a pleasure working with him on issues to make Scottsdale and Arizona an even better place to live.”

Mayor Lane’s endorsement now joins fellow Legislative District 23 Mayor Linda Kavanagh (Fountain Hills), along with U.S. Congressman Matt Salmon, Dr. C.T. Wright, LD 23 State Representative John Kavanagh, and others.  For a complete list of endorsements, please visit www.LD23JayLawrence.com.

Shawnna Bolick Launches Committee for Arizona House of Representatives in LD-28

“Arizonans come first. No more politics.”

Phoenix, AZ – September 17, 2013- This afternoon, Shawnna Bolick launched the “Elect Bolick for Arizona” committee for Arizona House Legislative District 28 (LD 28).

Today marks the 226th anniversary of the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document that they had created. “In celebration of my love for the United States and as a citizen of such a wonderful country and adopted state, there is no better day to officially launch my campaign for Arizona State Representative than Constitution Day,” Bolick stated.

“I am blessed to have tremendous support from my family, friends, past supporters and new supporters who also want a more prosperous Arizona. With the right ideas and citizen legislators, we can ensure one of the most important lines in our Constitution remains ‘We the People.’ The way that this Nation is headed we need to come together and put her back on the right fiscal track. The best place to make that happen is stepping up to serve Arizona, in order to stop further Federal over-reach. More importantly, Arizona is at a crossroads. I believe in taking the road less traveled to help take back our state because it is imperative we maintain our state’s sovereignty, freedom and prosperity,” she said.

Bolick is most interested in running for the Arizona legislature in order to influence the outcome of strong pro-growth, limited government, and free-enterprise ideas. As a means to make Arizona more competitive, Bolick believes devising better low tax policies that provide economic opportunity will encourage a flourishing civil society.

Having worked in the education reform movement for the past 17 years, Shawnna believes her experience makes her the most qualified candidate to take on the district’s Democratic incumbent in the general election. “As a school board member of one of the nation’s top public high schools, I have the toolbox on what it takes to run schools most efficiently with proven results. Our kids deserve the best twenty-first century education and I want to help each child regardless of their zip code have the best educational outcome as possible,” commented Bolick.

Shawnna and Clint, her husband, have two children, Ryne (11) and Kali (8 ½), plus their five year old rescued greyhound, Beary Goldwater.

Follow Shawnna Bolick online at BolickforArizona.com,  Twitter and Facebook.

Shawnna Bolick Announces for State Representative in Arizona LD-28

“We need conservative, free market leaders willing to step up and put their constituents first over politics.  As a policy person that would come easy to me.”

Phoenix, AZ– June 18, 2013- Last night, Shawnna L.M. Bolick opened an exploratory committee “Elect Bolick for Arizona” for Arizona House Legislative District 28 (LD 28).

There has been a drumbeat of support for me to step up from members across all factions of the Arizona Republican Party since the beginning of this calendar year after key failed votes, from reforming paycheck protection to expanding Education Savings Accounts.  Bolick’s “fire in the belly” was ignited last week when her fellow Republican state legislators did not allow public input or civil discourse among their colleagues and closed off debate over the Medicaid-expansion budget bill that was crafted in closed door meetings.

“As a proponent of a full transparent, limited government this rubbed me the wrong way.  My knees wouldn’t bend at the will of the powers-that-be while bypassing an important part of any public policy budget process through civil discourse.”

“Both elected Republican legislators representing LD28 voted with the Democrat also serving in the Arizona House failed to give reasons why they supported Governor Jan Brewer’s Medicaid-expansion bill during Brewer’s special session.  I believe the voters in LD 28 deserve not only a voice from a common sense citizen legislator but one who sides with full transparency and I want to give our voters that choice.”

In the weeks ahead, the Elect Bolick for Arizona exploratory committee will launch its website www.BolickforArizona as well as focus on its social media strategy.

Shawnna and Clint, her husband, have two children, Ryne (11) and Kali (8 ½), plus their five year old rescued greyhound, Beary Goldwater.  Bolick has worked on behalf of school choice for more than 17 years and continues to help in elevating key education reform ideas both at the state and national level.  As an undergraduate at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School she worked in an inner city magnet high school where her true passion for education reform caught fire.  During graduate school, she worked at The Heritage Foundation on its “No Excuses” campaign which focused on elevating high-performing principals whose practices allowed children to excel regardless of income level.  She also spent time working for conservative leaders as U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and now Governor Rick Perry.  As a school choice supporter she organized the BASIS Phoenix’s Boosters program during its inaugural year raising more than $30,000 to help support teachers and classroom activities and presently serves on the BASIS Scottsdale School Board.