January at the Legislature, in a Nutshell
The 2022 Arizona Legislative session kicked off January 10. I always start the session full of optimism for collaboration and finding common ground. With so many new members I was especially hopeful this year. Instead, we have already been presented with the most extreme, biased bills I have ever seen.
These bad bills include:
• Voting restrictions: attempts to end voting by mail in Arizona,
• Attacks on teachers: requiring teachers to declare their political party, and censorship of history lessons
• Unfair Taxes: threats of more revenue cuts to benefit only the biggest corporations and those making more than a million dollars a year. I work to keep Arizona’s businesses strong. Removing onerous red-tape and building a robust environment for innovators and entrepreneurs are great ways to promote high-paying jobs with room for advancement. That’s why I fight against unfair tax schemes that suppress the dreams of the middle class. Your good work deserves a worthy wage, and your hopes and plans for a big future deserve an economy where you get a fair opportunity to make it happen.
In addition to fighting bad ideas, I have been working to fight for YOUR priorities this year. I’ve been listening to voters, consulting with community organizations and collaborating with other elected leaders to develop solutions.
Bills I am sponsoring:
• Support for our public schools
• Reduce pollution and stop further damage to our climate
• Fiscal responsibility
• Criminal justice reform
I have already submitted ELEVEN bills - three bills to support our public schools, three bills to reduce pollution and stop further damage to our local climate, three bills to enforce greater fiscal and budgetary responsibility and transparency in government, and two bills to further efforts in criminal justice reform.
Despite the positive impact I’m working to make - whether masked up at the Capitol or, my favorite, out and about alongside small business owners, concerned parents and hardworking neighbors, there’s already been a huge number of bad bills I’ll be trying to improve or voting against. One BIG elephant in the room - a catastrophic issue for which a solution is absolutely critical, is known as the Aggregate Expenditure Limit for our public schools.
The clock is ticking on $1+ billion for our public schools
In simple terms, a decades-old provision in the state Constitution says the Legislature must raise the spending ceiling or schools in our neighborhoods will lose TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars by being arbitrarily banned from spending funds they already have. If Arizona had a similar law from the 1980s saying a city can’t spend more than $5 per hour on fire fighter wages or the Department of Transportation can’t spend more on road repairs than they did 30 years ago, there would be no issue raising the limit with broad bipartisan support, but because some politicians on the other side of the aisle want to damage
public schools at any cost, we’re having to rally support for this: Call and write to the Speaker of the House of Representatives asking he allow a hearing of HCR 2012 at (602) 926-3128 and email [email protected] You can also use Request To Speak to support HB2335 and SB1221 to repeal the expenditure cap or advocate for updating the dollar limits.
In addition to that pending disaster brought on by negligence by Legislative leadership, we’ve already seen a number of bills that would punish educators, allow loaded guns on campus, make local and national elections more complicated (and costly!) for millions of legal Arizona voters and more.
Help me fight for you
I am doing everything in my power to fight these damaging bills, but I could use your help:
- Sign my nominating petition - when other elected officials know I’m coming back after November, I have more sway over what we achieve and what we can avoid.
- Donate to my Senate campaign - the stronger my Senate campaign, the more influence I have NOW to negotiate on the bills that will affect our communities.
- Get involved with my campaign - our job in the Legislature is to represent you and the more we hear from you, the better! Talking to neighbors about what’s going on at the Capitol is a surefire way to increase voter turnout and voter impact on the negotiations happening now.
Here’s to getting back to work for great schools, quality jobs and fiscal responsibility.
- Rep. Mitzi Epstein for Arizona Senate
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