Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin: AIRC Process Flawed

In case you missed it: Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin calls out the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission for drafting unconstitutional, gerrymandered maps in the 4th Special Session.

Statement by Speaker Andy Tobin on Reinstatement of Colleen Mathis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 18 2011

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (Nov. 18, 2011) – Speaker Andy Tobin released the following statement today in response to the Arizona Supreme Court’s Reinstatement of the Independent Redistricting Commission chairwoman:

“I am extremely disappointed that the Court has chosen to reinstate a biased czar to the Independent Redistricting Commission. By placing Ms. Mathis back at the helm of the Commission, the Court has substituted its opinion for the voice of the people through those they have actually elected to represent them. The Court has removed the last remaining check and balance on an unelected and unaccountable body that has spent months blatantly and proudly violating open meeting laws, meeting in secret, ignoring voter mandates and placating the Democrat Party and the Obama administration. If this Commission is not put to a stop, the Court’s decision means more secrecy and more gerrymandering from a body that has shown a disdain for the Constitution. Moving forward, I am putting all options on the table in an effort to protect our state from being hijacked by a partisan ploy to demolish the democratic process.”

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Speaker Tobin Criticizes IRC Congressional Map

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2011
CONTACT: Paul Boyer

This statement is attributed to Speaker Andy Tobin (R-District 1):

“Up until now I have intentionally not commented on the actions of the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) hoping they would follow their constitutionally mandated duty of providing fair maps in an independent and transparent manner. Unfortunately this has not happened. The spirit of the voters’ intent in developing fair and independent maps has been hijacked.

The draft map adopted by three commissioners of the IRC fails to meet the standards set forth in the Arizona Constitution.

Further, the process has been flawed. Commissioners voted on this map without even looking at the data or the map they voted on. The “we need to vote on it so we can see what’s in it” approach didn’t work for Obamacare. Neither will it work for the Congressional and Legislative District maps all Arizonans will have to live with for the next ten years.

For Arizonans to have confidence in the constitutionality of the maps, we must be assured the Commission adheres to all of the necessary criteria and is conducted in an open and transparent process so we know the rationale behind the maps and the data that drives it.

I hope the Commission listens to the concerns of the entire public during this thirty-day comment period, especially those in rural Arizona.

The Arizona House of Representatives will defend our citizens against efforts to gerrymander votes by hijacking the process.

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Speaker Tobin Calls for Cyber Terrorists to be Held Accountable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (June 24, 2011) – Speaker Andy Tobin released the following statement in response to the hacking group LulzSec breaking into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s computers on Thursday and downloading hundreds of files:

“I am outraged to learn that a group of international hackers have illegally stolen and released hundreds of law enforcement files from the Department of Public Safety. Even more outrageous is that they have done this in response to the Legislature and Governor’s efforts to secure our border and protect Arizona citizens by passing SB1070. Instead, this extremist group has now put hundreds of Arizona’s finest in danger. These cyber terrorists should be prosecuted to the full extent possible. Their actions have compromised the safety of our brave law enforcement officers and their families. Therefore, we will be looking at whether additional policy is needed to fully hold them accountable in the event the release of this information results in harm to any of our public safety officers or their families.”

Follow the Speaker on Twitter: @Andy_Tobin

Arizona House: State Legislators Give Back

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 26, 2011
CONTACT: Paul Boyer

Several state Representatives will be working on Friday, May 27 in downtown Chandler from 8:00am to 2:30pm on a home renovation project with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.

Representatives Eddie Farnsworth, Tom Forese, J.D. Mesnard, Steve Montenegro, Terri Proud, Amanda Reeve, David Stevens will all be in attendance to help renovate the foreclosed home.

“Habitat is a wonderful organization that instills the pride of home ownership through the personal responsibility and sweat equity each future homeowner must provide in order to move in,” Representative J.D. Mesnard said. “I’m thrilled about helping this couple renovate their future home and pleased to see the city of Chandler partnering with Habitat to serve our residents through these projects.”

To qualify, future Habitat homeowners must earn 30 to 60 percent of the area median income; take classes on financial fitness and home maintenance since many are first time homeowners. They must work 100 construction hours on a renovated home known as “sweat equity” prior to moving in. They receive a 0 percent interest mortgage paid to Habitat which goes into a fund that allows them to purchase more land along with the “sticks and bricks” to build/renovate even further.

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Arizona Took Bold Action in Record Time

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

Lawmakers met historically difficult challenges in just 100 days

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (April 20, 2011) – The Arizona House of Representatives wrapped up the 1st regular session of the 50th legislative session today, meeting some of the biggest challenges in the state’s history – and doing so in record time.

Lawmakers adjourned in 100 days – the shortest session in more than a decade. Only five times in the last 30 years have lawmakers finished so swiftly.

What’s even more impressive is that lawmakers tackled some of the most complex challenges in the state’s history: Closing a $1 billion budget shortfall; reforming entitlements; streamlining government; and creating jobs.

“It’s fitting that the centennial Legislature rose to the great challenges before us in a way that the legendary Arizona leaders who came before us would be proud of,” said House Speaker Kirk Adams. “Rather than kick the can down the road, this Legislature proved that it is possible to balance the budget, create jobs and reform government and entitlements. These are tough decisions that required bold action – and we rose to the challenge.”

Majority Leader Andy Tobin credited both veteran and new lawmakers for coming together and getting down to business.

“Our work to fix our economy, create jobs and reign-in spending does end today – but by making bold decisions over the last 100 days we are a giant step closer to brighter days for Arizona,” Tobin said. “The voters sent us here to make tough decisions, and together, we’ve worked hard to do just that.”

Less than 40 days into the session, the House passed a historic and comprehensive Jobs Bill. The largest permanent tax cut in Arizona history, this Jobs Bill is the first step in our efforts to turn Arizona’s economy around, diversify our economic base and make sure there are high-paying, high-quality jobs for hard-working Arizonans.

Eighty-two days into the session, the House passed a balanced budget that cut more than $1 billion from the state budget and instituted long-term spending reforms. This was the first structurally-balanced budget to pass the Legislature in at least five years – and it included no new gimmicks, debt or borrowing.

Ninety-five days into the session, the House passed a major pension reform package that protects the commitment we’ve made to our hard-working teachers, firemen and police officers by ensuring our state pension system is solvent and sustainable. Without a sustainable pension system, we couldn’t guarantee that it would still be there. This proposal ensures that it will be. This pension reform package aims to stop the abuses we’ve seen in the system – like double-dipping – and modifies the benefits elected officials receive to more closely match what rank-and-file state employees receive.

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