I finished this week more convinced than ever that our GOP legislature and governor are out to touch with Arizona. Here are three examples:
1) As you know, the legislative Republicans passed a bill that effectively opens up vouchers (taxpayer money to private schools) to the whole state. They passed the bill by promising some concerned Republican members that there would be a cap on vouchers at 30,000 students by 2022. Those members proved to be quite gullible, as immediately after the vote the Goldwater Institute announced that they would work to remove the caps next year.
Then, the AZ Republic published information showing that the over-sight for the vouchers would be almost meaningless. This, after publishing this report showing that vouchers actually benefit white, rich students over low income minority students, as promised for years.
2) The governor vetoed a bill of mine that passed out of the House and Senate unanimously. The bill had to do with a bad home owner association voting practice that we tried to prohibit. See this video explanation and the governor's veto letter here. They swear it had nothing to do with how critical I am of the governor.
However, its hard to believe that when the governor signed three HOA-related bills in the last year, after saying in his veto letter that the government should not be in the role of dictating how HOAs conduct their voting. We attempted an over-ride. But, many of the same GOP members who voted for the bill could not bring themselves to help with the override. This was the first veto override attempt in 16 years, according to staff.
3) With all of the attention on the terrible voucher legislation this week, there was little talk of SB1366, which created new punishments for assault on police officers while not on duty. The bill had some problems.
However, I might have been able to live with those problems, had the bill also not had a clause that specified that this law shall be called the “Blue Lives Matter Act.” This was not merely tone deaf to the concerns of African Americans in Arizona, but went so far as to further undermine trust between African Americans and police. Follow this link for the comments that I made as I voted against the bill.
News Around the District
1) There will be a tax day march to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns so that we can see what is conflicts of interest are. Here's the link for the Facebook invite. Can you imagine what Mr. Trump would have said if Pres. Obama had refused to release his tax returns?
2) The LD24 Dems meet every second Thursday of the month at 7pm. Stay tuned to this Facebook page for updates.
3) If you want an example of an incredible group that has emerged as a leader in grass roots organizing, have a look at Stronger Together AZ. These folks are organizing meetings and actions all over the state. Have a look at their Facebook page. It is a closed group to keep trolls out. But if you ask nicely, they will let you in.
4) I'll be doing my next fundraiser on April 22nd at the Grand Central Coffee Company. Here's the link. It will be a brunch with a lot of my friends who are also realtors. You are welcome to join. I promise to keep them from trying to sell you homes.
1) There are some great charter schools in my district, but this article illustrates why more taxpayers are demanding basic transparency in charter school funding. I believe that we need to protect the good charter schools by expecting transparency, while still giving them more freedom to operate. Otherwise, the bad apples will dominate the market... and fail to educate the next generation.
2) Along the same lines, this article illustrates just how private and some bad apple charter schools can get away with selecting only certain students, even relying on race and ethnicity to do so.
3) We hosted a town hall this last week about the future of the State Fairgrounds. The governor issued an RFI to get input from people about the future of the fair. We are hearing rumors that they want to move the fair, so we felt we should ask the people most directly affected by decisions like this. This is an article from the Arizona Historic Foundation that captured the feedback we got from the audience. What do you think should happen to the fairgrounds?