SOLUTIONS FOR SOUTHERN ARIZONA
An Arizona native, I grew up in Tucson and Douglas. I attended Pima community college and graduated from Northern Arizona University. My wife and I currently live in Sahuarita with our children. A high school physics and math teacher with 16 years of classroom experience, I currently teach at Amphitheater High School in Tucson.
Government and Higher Education (vice-chairman)
Transportation and Infrastructure
Children and Family Affairs
Sponsored Legislation Passed:
While the number of bills passed cannot be the sole measure of a legislator, I am proud that I was able to sponsor and pass more pieces of legislation in my freshman term then all of the Senators and Representatives, past and current, from LD2 combined. The majority of the bills I sponsored were focused on solving problems for the communities I represent.HB2474 mobile homes; county floodplain regulations (Signed by Governor 2016)
HB2592 nonprofit corporations; electronic voting (Signed by Governor 2016)
This measure allows nonprofit corporations to conduct elections on-line while preserving any member’s right to vote by paper ballot and ensuring integrity in the election process. For nonprofits with large membership, such as Green Valley Recreational, the ability to use online balloting will significantly reduce the cost of conducting elections.
HB2615 illegal tax levies; review; notice (Signed by Governor 2015)
Prompted by a situation in the city of South Tucson, this measure provides additional oversight on secondary property tax levies. Previously, there was no statutory due diligence requirement to review secondary property tax levies requested of a county by local jurisdictions.
HB2371 postsecondary education board; exceptions; continuation (Signed by Governor 2016)
As co-chair of the committee of reference that reviewed the Board for Private Postsecondary Education, I was tasked with running the continuation bill. Normally the responsibility would have been assigned a more senior legislator. I take pride in the fact that both the Senate and House committee chairs entrusted me to oversee the process.
HB2247 provisional community colleges; organization; enrollment (Assigned to Ad-Hoc Committee)
This measure was intended to give the Santa Cruz Provisional Community College District the ability explore seeking accreditation. The issue was assigned to an ad-hoc committee that I chaired. Ultimately, a solution was reached without the need to amend statute.
HB2057 JTED Funding (Eventually passed as SB1525, Sen. Shooter, Signed by Governor 2016)
In 2015 I sponsored a bill to restore 9th grade funding for career and technical education. Unfortunately, the FY16 budget went in the opposite direction, making further cuts to Joint Technical Education Districts. This was a primary reason I was unable to vote for the FY16 budget. Prior to the start of the 2016 session, I pre-introduced a measure to reverse the cuts. Working with the Arizona CTE Strategic Plan Steering Committee and JTED’s from around the state, we were able to garner the support to unanimously pass restoration of the cuts made in the previous budget. We will continue to work on restoring 9th grade funding.
HB2127 prohibition; live dog racing (Rep. Mesnard, Signed by Governor 2016)
This measure finally brings an end to live dog racing in Arizona. However, the hard work is always in the details of any legislation. The last remaining dog track was in LD2 and its continued operation prevented interests from Maricopa county form monopolizing horse racing and off-track betting operations in Pima County through a bizarre and complicated set of outdated rules. Working with stakeholders and the sponsor, we achieved a temporary solution that ends dog racing for good, but provides time to untangle the regulatory mess. We now have to work to ensuring that horse track operations in Pima County are treated equitably in statute.
SB1381 wine; direct shipment (Sen. Barto, Signed by Governor 2016)
I was a prime co-sponsor of this measure to reform laws relating to on-line wine sales and helped shepherd it through the House. This allows Arizona wineries, such as those in the Sonoita-Elgin region, to be more competitive.
HB2246 statewide assessments; parental opt out (Passed House 2015)
This measure would recognize a parent’s right to make decisions about their child’s education and allow them to opt-out of any mandated statewide assessment. It would also provide a statutory mechanism for students with reading proficiency to advance to the 4th grade independently of AzMERIT scores. I re-introduced the measure in 2016 and Sen. Allen amended SB1455 with similar language. Unfortunately, the votes were still not there in the Senate to pass the measure.
During both sessions my budget priorities remained the same.
(1) Move K-12 education funding forward
(2) Have a plan for investing in higher education
(3) Reverse the trend of shifting costs to counties and cities
(4) New accountability and funding distribution systems must be workable and include stakeholder input
In 2015 the budget did not match these priorities. In 2016 I, along with many of my caucus members, stood firm to ensure the budget reversed the trends of the past decade. We still have work to do.
I am honored to have the endorsement of the following organizations for the 2016 campaign.
Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce
Arizona Nurses Association
Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Arizona Education Association
Fraternal Order of Police, Arizona State Lodge
National Federation of Independent Business
Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona