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.

Republicans Waging War In LD-28 – Against Fellow Republicans

Plenty of drama continues to unfold in Arizona’s 28th legislative district.

This time, Republican candidate Matt Morales delivers a robodial urging voters to only vote for Republican Mary Hamway.

There are two Republican candidates running against one Democrat in LD-28. Two seats, three candidates, two Republicans, one Democrat.

This should be easy.

But not in LD-28 where warring Republicans are urging a single-shot strategy because they assume a Democrat will win. It’s a complete rollover.

Now Matt Morales is a friend of ours but we cannot understand why he’s wrapped up in this every-woman-for-herself election strategy, especially if he plans to run for

Republicans should be holding tight and voting THE REPUBLICAN TEAM in LD-28 and not assuming the Democrat is going to win. These are real votes when it comes to passing a Republican agenda in the House. Every Republican vote helps.

Our reality is that we’re not big fans of Mary Hamway but when House leadership needs an “R,” they’re not gonna find it in a Kelli Butler.”

Republicans can elect center-right Republican Maria Syms and moderate Republican Mary Hamway in LD-28; Or, they can elect a Republican and a leftist Democrat to those two House seats. The result will be an easier legislative path or a harder legislative path. That’s the end game.

Our recommendation: More Republicans, less drama please.

 

Tobin in the “Hot” Seat

There is growing chatter around the state capitol that House Speaker Andy Tobin is walking a thin line with his caucus and might have a tough time keeping the Speaker’s chair if he chooses not to run for Congress.  Many members feel he has gone overboard in playing favorites with members’ bills and has kept them from voting on bills they want to vote for.

One prime example is the union bills, dealing with “paycheck protection” and so-called “release time.”  Many members have constituents telling them that it’s ridiculous that a Republican super majority doesn’t have the backbone to reign in the public employee unions, especially when they’re doing union work on taxpayer time.

If (well, WHEN) public empoloyee unions spend money against Republicans in this years’ elections, especially in the more closely contested new districts, majority House members will wonder why their Speaker didn’t have their back.  Once they have lost confidence in their leader, and lost a few of their colleagues, they’ll be looking for a new leader.

Tick tock, Mr. Speaker…you’re running out of time.