Issues discussed were: Governor Ducey’s proposed budget (which doesn’t jive with the JLBC figures), Proposition 123, Health Care and SCHIP (a slim possibility), Flex Loans (a behind the scenes effort to reintroduce payday lending bills), and gun bills (HB2072 & HB2338) that would allow guns on campuses. There are a projected 1,600 bills that will be introduced this session and many are still being written and rewritten.
We were well received by all of these leaders who we know from past years. Rep. Ackerley is opposing the Governor’s plans for JTED (career and technical education), Rep. Wheeler is strongly in favor of Prop. 123, Rep. Mach is willing to mentor young folks interested in politics, and Sen. Farley says that the Governor’s budget is all “smoke and mirrors.” We also watched newly appointed Rep. Matt Kopec (D-D9) in his first day on the job after being appointed yesterday to fill our Rep. Victoria Steele’s term. He is also and aide to Tucson City Rep. Karen Uhlich and has worked with us in the past. Steele has resigned to run for Congress against U.S. Rep. Martha McSally.
We’ll be going again on Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, and will be meeting with Supt. of Public Instruction Diane Douglas among others while we’re in Phoenix.