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Gov. Doug Ducey may have to deal early on with a problem dumped on him by the previous administration: the unconstitutional expansion of Medicaid.
Wasting no time after being sworn in, Gov. Doug Ducey immediately took the possibility of higher taxes off the table to balance the state budget, even on a temporary basis.
What should East Valley residents expect from the local and state economies in the near future? One forecaster estimates a little sluggishness in the next 12 months followed by much stronger growth in the years following.
PHOENIX -- Saying it's impossible and would wreck the budget, attorneys for state lawmakers are urging a judge to reject a request by Arizona schools for more than $1 billion in inflation funding they were not given.
Attorneys for state lawmakers are urging a judge to reject a request by Arizona schools for more than $1 billion in inflation funding they were not given.
Saying it's impossible and would wreck the budget, attorneys for state lawmakers are urging a judge to reject a request by Arizona schools for more than $1 billion in inflation funding they were not given.
The most recent price decrease has led to fuel costs across Arizona that are at their cheapest rate in more than four years.
NEW YORK — Planes are full. Passengers clamor for amenities. Investors want a payout. New planes are on order.
Calling it fiscally “impossible,” an attorney for lawmakers told a judge on Monday she should reject a bid by schools to get back the money the state illegally withheld from them for years.
PHOENIX -- The Citizens Clean Elections Commission concluded Thursday there's reason to believe a video by the state's school chief paid for by taxpayers actually was designed to help his campaign for re-election.
But the odds are good that John Huppenthal will escape with little more than a fine.
The 3-1 vote came despite Huppenthal's personal plea to the panel that the purpose of the video, sent to 60,000 educators and posted on YouTube, was to deal with the "anxiety-ridden feedback from the education community'' that the Common Core standards the state adopted four years earlier were going to be trashed. Huppenthal said it was never done in an effort to salvage his campaign to be the Republican nominee for state school superintendent, a race he eventually lost to Diane Douglas.
In fact, he told commissioners, the video, produced by and paid for the state Department of Education, actually could be interpreted to hurt him since he did express support for math and English standards. "We knew, had known for some time, that I was, by supporting the standards, that I was digging a hole for myself deeper and deeper politically,'' Huppenthal said.
Commissioner Thomas Koester said most of the video, issued just two weeks before the Aug. 26 primary, probably fits within Huppenthal's role as the state's top school official. But he said where the message went off the tracks was when Huppenthal promised to work with the next governor "to fully review the standards in a series of open, public forums to ensure that we are implementing the standards that are best for Arizona students.'' And Huppental said that will give families "an opportunity fully voice their concerns.''
"I acknowledge what you're saying,'' Huppenthal responded. But he denied there was any political purpose in the message, saying his promise for hearings was his effort to ensure the standards were not simply jettisoned by the public.
Commissioner Louis Hoffman had his own concerns about the video and the timing.
He noted that Huppenthal had just been accused of flip-flopping on the his support of what had since been renamed the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards. Hoffman said the video could be seen as Huppenthal's attempt to address those criticism.
And then there was the timing of the Aug. 12 video.
"I'm very suspicious of this because it was done two weeks before the election,'' Hoffman said. "If it were merely a policy matter it could have been done earlier.''
But Huppenthal said the timing was related to the increasing criticism of the standards.
Thursday's vote essentially authorized Tom Collins, the commission's executive director, to conduct a full-blown investigation into the video and its costs. But Collins said he presumes that the inquiry likely will be short-circuited with what amounts to a deal for Huppenthal to pay a fine to end the matter.
Mitchell Laird, another member of the commission, said that might be the best outcome for all concerned.
"It's a really close call,'' he said of whether the video really amounts to a donation by taxpayers to Huppenthal's campaign.
Only Commissioner Steve Titla voted against proceeding, saying he thinks nothing that Huppenthal did broke the law.
With his political life cut short by his defeat in August, Huppenthal said after the hearing he's not looking for a fight.
"I'm anxious to get on with life,'' he said.
Q: Why are you running?
A: I want to grow our economy and provide a bright future for our children. Our Legislature needs to focus on long-term goals, not just short-term requirements.
I’m running because a strong economy demands a prepared workforce and a reliable infrastructure. For over 25 years, I’ve been in business. I’ve worked for multi-national corporations as a computer systems analyst, and I’ve been an entrepreneur. For 25 years, I’ve been building coalitions of parents and community members for quality public education. With a team, I co-founded the local group, Yes Public Ed, and the statewide group, the APPLE Coalition, to develop continuous dialogue between elected officials and community members — parents, teachers, retirees, and business leaders — for quality public education.
We need leaders who understand technology and collaboration because those are the keys to the innovation economy and the good jobs with great pay and a ladder to advancement. I will work to bring business and education leaders together to focus on preparing our most important resource, our people, for the challenges of global competition. I will always keep a keen eye for innovations that can support Arizona’s businesses, because when our businesses are strong, Arizona is strong.
Q: Arizona is predicted to be among the fastest-growing states in terms of job growth in the coming years. What can Arizona do to accelerate the growth and what industries should it target, especially for residents of your district?
A: There are several opportunities to accelerate job growth in Arizona, and growing jobs is my No 1 priority. We need high-paying jobs that have a ladder for advancement, and create positive economic ripple effects for all of Arizona.
The Research and Development Refundable Tax Credit has been a successful program to help startups in the innovation economy to grow. The return on investment has been beneficial. With a $15 million investment, we can attribute $2.26 billion of growth in our economy. From millions to billions is a good ROI! I have been meeting with innovation entrepreneurs in places like TechShop and Gangplank to learn more about the resources they need to grow manufacturing jobs here.
To encourage more companies to relocate or expand in Arizona, we need a great business environment that includes a full complement of factors: talented workforce, low taxes, reliable infrastructure and quality of life. We need a talented workforce to continue to attract companies, like Intel, Honeywell and Fuji Film, as economic anchors. In conversations with people who work in these large multinational firms, I’ve heard repeatedly that they want more Arizona graduates in STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math. I’ve attended the Sci-Tech Festivals to learn more about how excellence in these important fields is being encouraged.
By supporting education, and certain capital programs for startups, we can help more and more people to not only get a job, we can help them to make more jobs!
Q: Given the state’s decision to back out of the PARCC test, should Arizona continue to follow Common Core standards? If not, what standards should the state implement for its students?
A: The ACCRS (Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards) are not perfect. We need an Arizona solution to prepare our students to be college and career-ready. We must have high standards in our schools so that we will have high standards in our workforce and quality of life.
Q: The approval of Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid funding was a contentious issue in 2013. Now with a year gone, was the decision by Brewer and the Legislature the correct decision for Arizona?
A: It was the correct decision. With the AHCCCS Restoration, we have a healthier workforce and a healthier budget. Repealing the plan is and extreme reaction. That would leave a huge deficit in the budget and it would mean that our tax dollars — paid by Arizonans — would go to other states instead of helping our state.
With the plan in place, health care providers — that are major economic pillars — are reporting much better financial results. The math continues to work. The health care industry provides not only great jobs with high pay, but also helps to keep more Arizonans healthy and productive at work.
Q: Given recent protestations about “dark money” affecting political campaigns, is there a problem with the campaign finance system in Arizona? Similarly, would you vote to present campaign finance reform legislation to voters in the next two election cycles?
A: “Dark money” is dangerous because it can open the door to corruption. If we don’t know who is donating to a campaign, we cannot know the true intentions of the campaign.
Accountability and transparency have always been important to me. As a school board member, I worked hard with staff members to bring more community members into the district to be included in decisions, and I spoke up repeatedly for clear communications that did not hide the truth behind jargon. I will continue to stand for improving transparency in the state.
Q. Why are you running
It won't eliminate ObamaCare in Arizona, and it's unlikely to keep the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing new air quality rules on power plants here. But proponents of Proposition 122 insist that the proposed state constitutional amendment will give Arizona the power to rein in future federal government overreach, and it would do it through the power of the purse.
>> This information is provided in community partnership with Harkins Theatres. For showtimes, theater locations and tickets, go to HarkinsTheatres.com.
One of my first actions as mayor was to announce the formation of the Falcon Strategic Visioning Commission. For more than 75 years, Mesa’s Falcon Field Economic Activity Area (FFEAA) has led the nation in aviation innovation. From the early 1940s when WWII U.S. and British cadets trained over the skies of Mesa, to today where multimillion dollar, cutting-edge aircraft continue to set the standard in aviation; the FFEAA is one of Mesa’s most dynamic and dense zones of employment and economic opportunity.
Visiting a retired Frank Capra at his Sierra Nevada hideaway, Clint Eastwood was baffled.
The jobs may not be returning very fast, but a new report Monday shows the Arizonans who are employed are loosening up on their wallets.
After watching and reading about the state treasurer’s debate I thought to myself that with ex-Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman’s line of “bull” he should be selling used cars. http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/2014/07/08/treasurer-candidates-get-loud-debate/12393627/.
Calling it a “stunning power grab,” Attorney General Tom Horne wants a judge to block a decision by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission to investigate whether he has been using his office for campaigning.
One of the three Republicans running for Secretary of State said Tuesday night he's not convinced that Arizona law should bar anonymous spending on political campaigns.
A major auto dealer has become a prime force in trying to ensure that Doug Ducey is the Republican nominee for governor — and that Christine Jones is not.
The top aide to Attorney General Tom Horne has selected two attorneys who have donated to Horne to investigate whether Horne and others in the office have been conducting his reelection campaign on state time with state resources.