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Mark Finchem’s Legislative Journal       

         

FEBRUARY 1, 2019- I am pleased to tell you that Arizona is now at an all-time high for education funding with an average of $10,120 per child going to K-12 education.
 

 
Can we do more? Yes, we can but not until we are permitted to access the revenue-generating power of our public lands that are already under contract with the Federal government. Over the coming weeks, I will report out to you on the progress that the Western States Working Group and the BLM are making to local management of federally controlled lands. #Stewardship

There is a healthy amount of skepticism regarding vaccines and their effectiveness and side effects. While there is a strong argument that vaccines work in many cases, there is a question of reliable outcomes. Before taking the step to mandate the injection of a foreign substance to an individual, I believe that the viability of the contents of such a vaccine ought to be tested and confirmed that the contents are indeed what they are alleged to be. Once such a substance is injected, it is permanent. Then there is the matter of a religious or personal choice exemption, which we must respect.
 


- Rep. Mark Finchem, Chairman of the House Federal Relations Committee. 

VICTORY OVER DEBT!

The State Legislative buildings are again owned by the people and not a bank as collateral for the mortgage loan that prior legislatures had to take to keep state government solvent. This happened because of a structurally balanced budget. This frees up nearly $365 Million that had previously been paid each year as interest on the loan.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY 

We have an economy that is bursting with prosperity. Due to the conservative fiscal management policies that we have set in the legislature, we are now blessed with over $1 Billion of "surplus", a good portion of which will go to increase the Budget Emergency Stabilization Fund, a hedge against economic down turns affecting critical services.

Representative Mark Finchem, Elected Chairman of The Legislative Rural Caucus

On January 15, 2019 The Legislative Rural Caucus announced leadership changes for the 2019 legislative session. Representative Mark Finchem (R-11) was elected chairman, and Representative Timothy Dunn (R-13) was elected vice chairman.

The Legislative Rural Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators who meet weekly to discuss common challenges for rural communities that often conflict with urban needs and examine legislation that is intended to solve those challenges.

“While water supply is on everyone’s mind, there are many other challenges that rural Arizona faces,” said Representative Finchem. “This year members have voiced support for three major issues including: internet service infrastructure to increase availability, Arizona Department of Transportation infrastructure (roadway repair and maintenance), and employment opportunities. It is interesting to note that all three of these priorities are related to infrastructure, education and workforce availability.”

As the session progresses, the Legislative Rural Caucus will watch bills that come forward that might diminish the ability of rural counties to provide vital service to those who live outside of the city centers of Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. Members all recognize that there is an untapped resource in the rural communities, which with the right infrastructure would bloom with prosperity and contribute even more to the quality of life for all Arizonans and visitors.

Last week Representative Finchem, Chairman of the Federal Relations Committee, hosted a presentation on how Arizona has been affected by Congressional overreach and public lands. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is interested in working with the western states to clean up our public lands, make them more user-friendly and make them self-supporting. The deferred maintenance that is pervasive across most public lands is an embarrassment and is a major factor driving major wildfires in the west. More to come on this important change in public lands policy. 



House Bills Introduced For Consideration…

HB2001 would eliminate the ability of a County Board of Supervisors to stand in the way of County Sheriff's and County Prosecutor's doing their job. This bill is a response to the Pima County BOS making a purely and admittedly, grotesquely political statement by rejecting Operation Stonegarden Federal funding for law enforcement operation along the border. The Pima County Sheriff's office does more than just arrest people, they interdict drugs and save lives of those stranded in the desert.

HB2002 would require the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to adopt a Code of Ethics for Educators. While it is true that the national teacher's union, the National Education Association, has a code of ethics, it is not binding on teachers in Arizona, and there is no consequence for violating the code of conduct that it enshrines. The bill would also prohibit the promotion or disparagement of political persons or parties, something which many parents and teachers have told me is a pervasive behavior in some K-12 class rooms.

HCR2001 is a resolution calling for an Article V Convention of States to adopt a Constitutional Amendment to end voter suppression by defining the term "citizen" and by requiring positive identification of United States citizenship to vote. When an individual who is not a legal elector votes in an election, the individual suppresses the vote of someone who is.

HB2522 deals with an offset for a formulaic tax increase that is a consequence for all Arizonan's who previously used an IRS Schedule C for deductions. This move prevents a tax increase, it does not give a tax cut.

For more information on these House Bills and others, please visit: https://www.azleg.gov/bills/

 

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AZ Rep. Mark Finchem, Constituent Services · PO Box 69344 · Oro Valley, AZ 85737 · USA

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