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Mark Finchem’s Legislative Journal       

         

October 30, 2019 As Congress demonstrates a disinterested ear, the Arizona Legislature is working to promote the interests of Arizonans.”
- Rep. Mark Finchem, Chairman of the House Federal Relations Committee. 

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN!
Last month representative Mark Finchem launched his bid for re-election. This will be his 4th, and last term as your LD-11 State Representative. In Arizona, unlike the Federal government, we have term limits. I have worked diligently to deliver on the 5 commitments I made during the last three elections, which include, 
  • Protecting an environment of personal freedom 
  • Promoting economic security 
  • Demanding a debt-free future 
  • Securing safe streets and schools 
  • Funding quality education, voting 5-years in a row for increased general fund appropriations 

Rep. Finchem has sought to hold those who are charged with delivering on the five priorities accountable for how they spend your tax dollars. If you are pleased with the service Rep. Finchem has delivered, please visit the Arizona Secretary of State EQUAL web site and sign his nominating petition today by clicking the link below.  

 
https://apps.azsos.gov/apps/election/eps/petition/VoterPetnAuth.aspx 

ETHICS & INTEGRITY SPOTLIGHT

Ordinarily I write to tell constituents about legislative initiatives and such, but this month I'd like to include an exceptional experience with an Oro Valley retailer. I don’t often push the “Cash Back” button at a grocery store, or any other merchant for that matter.  Therefore, I am not used to taking the cash that a self-check out lane will dispense upon request. On Saturday, October 19 I broke with past behavior and asked for $20 to have cash for an upcoming flight on business. And… you guessed it, I walked out of the store without taking the money. An hour or so later when I realized the oversight, I returned to the store and asked the Customer Service Associate at the Oro Valley Wal-Mart if anyone had turned in a $20 bill from the self-check out. She asked for my receipt, and went to the back office. Thinking that the $20 lesson would be one not to forget while she was gone, I was more than pleasantly surprised to see a duplicate receipt and the $20 bill in her hand. “Here you go sir, is there anything else I can help you with?” I thought outlaid, “now how often does that happen?” Not wanting a chance to compliment honesty, ethics and integrity to go unnoticed, I asked to speak with the Store Manager. When he arrived at the counter, I recapped the story, and his response was simply a beaming smile and a comment, “Sir, we see this all the time.” It was clear to see that honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior are systemic at his retailer; the notion that a customer should be made whole if possible is a display of such an employee culture. Way to go OV Marketplace Wal-Mart Team!  Bravo!  (Photo Credit: Mark Finchem)

-Rep. Mark Finchem

SOLAR PANELS IN LANDFILLS? 

As some of the early solar panel (SP) installations come to their retirement age, it is clear that the so-called “renewable” energy solution has not planned for the life-cycle management of aged and damaged panels. The same is true with electric vehicle batteries (EVB). At one time the “renewable” waste might have been shipped to China for reprocessing or decommissioning, but not any more. Rep. Mark Finchem is working on legislation that will protect our soil and water from such toxic constituent SP and EVB elements as lithium, cadmium and cobalt. A two path solution is emerging as the best solution so far. Under such a plan, SP and EVB manufactures could opt in to an internal life-cycle management program that would take back panels and batteries that are no longer meeting manufacturer specifications or are damaged beyond use. The second pathway is for a manufacturer to pay into a fund managed by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (AZDEQ) that would deal with decommissioning and safe retirement of the equipment. Rep. Finchem is not one to use the “crisis” word loosely, and in this case he will use it in a positive manner. This legislation will help us to avoid an environmental crisis that doesn’t need to happen. (Photo Credit: Bob Meinetz).

ARGUING FOR MAINTAINING OPEN PUBLIC LANDS
While a number of non-government organizations claim to engage in the “fight to keep public lands open to the public” your LD-11 legislators were actually in the fight, not just talking about it. The US Forest Service seeks to close access to parts of the Apache-Sitgraves National Forest (commonly called the A-Bar-S). They are submitting public comments to the USFS reminding management that they cannot close down what are known as RS-2477 (Revised Statute 2477) rights-of-way without recognizing the pre-existing County Land Use Plans for the affected counties. The draw of federally controlled public lands in Arizona is their access and openness for mixed use. More to follow on this battle.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND I-11
Rep. Mark Finchem has gone on the record with print media that he opposes I-11 for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, until we can afford to maintain the roadways and bridges we already have, we have no business adding more roadway that will require even more maintenance. When I-11 was first proposed it was intended to carry freight from Mexico to Canada via the CanaMex Corridor, which is a creation out of NAFTA. The project will cost hundreds of billion of dollars to build and millions to maintain. Until we have a plan for rejuvenating, repairing and replacing failing bridges and roads that already make up the Arizona infrastructure system, we have no business adding to the problem. This puts Rep. Finchem at odds with long range planners, the Chamber of Commerce and others. He has been known for responsible stewardship of taxpayer funds the Legislature is entrusted with and the resources under the care of various State Agencies. Show Rep. Finchem a pathway for significant improvements that leads to rejuvenating, repairing and replacing failing bridges and roads first, then let's talk about new roads and bridges.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!

ADOT is committed to planning, designing, building, operating, preserving and maintaining the best and safest statewide transportation system possible with the dollars that Arizonans commit to transportation through the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF), and with funds that lawmakers appropriate beyond the funding mechanism for transportation established in state law. 

ADOT’s Five-Year Program is a lineup of projects that is updated annually. It serves as a blueprint for future projects and designates how much local, state and federal funding is allocated for those projects over the next five years to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure. This includes highways, bridges and aviation. With the HURF proceeds that can be allocated by law for capital projects in Greater Arizona, it is a reality that fewer expansion projects can make it into the Five-Year Program because of the need to apply an increasing share of that funding to preservation. 

The current Five-Year Program allocates approximately $39 million in FY 2020 for certain projects along State Route 77 (Oracle Road), which includes approximately $13 million for pavement preservation from the I-10 Junction to River Road and approximately $26 million for pavement preservation and construction of street lighting from River Road to Calle Concordia. The projects are slated to begin in late spring or early summer of 2020 and are expected to take two years to complete. After these sections are completed, the Five-Year Program allocates approximately $11 million in FY 2022 for pavement preservation from Calle Concordia to Tangerine Road."

REP. MARK FINCHEM SENDS LETTER TO U.S. FOREST SERVICE REGARDING ROAD CLOSURES ON APACHE-SITEGREAVES NATIONAL FORESTS
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Mark Finchem (R-11) this week submitted comments to the United States Forest Service (USFS) regarding significant road closures on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.
 
The USFS has proposed a 
Motorized Travel Management Plan that will prevent the public from using public lands. Under current federal law, Arizona county governments have land use plans that include roads, trails and access rights-of-way.
 
“It seems odd indeed that the Arizona Wildlife Fund objected to 
HB 2056 last session, which would have ensured public access to public lands within the boundaries of Arizona, based on the presumption that federal agencies would keep such areas open to the public,” said Representative Finchem.
 
This is not the first time that federal agencies have attempted to limit access to public lands. Several years ago, the USFS attempted to place gates across rights-of-way that are protected by Revised Statute 2477. That effort was halted, and I expect this attempt to do the same thing will also be stopped. Federal authorities can’t have it both ways - they can’t claim that they hold ‘public lands’ for the use of the public, while at the same time, preventing the public from enjoying the lands that they own corporately.”
 
Full text of the letter can be found by clicking here.
 
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AZ Rep. Mark Finchem, Constituent Services · PO Box 69344 · Oro Valley, AZ 85737 · USA

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