PHOENIX, Arizona – Three Arizona House Republicans voted against an amendment to significantly expand school choice during Friday’s budget discussion. State Representatives Joel John (R-Buckeye), Michelle Udall (R-Mesa), and Joanne Osborne (R-Goodyear) all voted against the school choice legislation sponsored by State Representative Regina Cobb (R-Kingman) as amended by State Representative Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix).
HB 2898 as amended under Bolick would have added 14 provisions addressing Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program. In part, Bolick’s amendment would have opened up children of veterans and children in free or reduced-price lunch programs to ESAs, decreased the amount of time students must attend government schools full-time to be eligible for ESAs, allowed ESAs money to be used for educational therapies not covered by insurance and public transportation services, entitled children to equitable shares of funding otherwise allocated to school districts or charter schools for that child, and mandated the state to include ESA children in the statewide weighted student count for calculation of per pupil amount from the Classroom Site Fund (CSF).
PHOENIX, Arizona – Thursday, the Arizona House passed tax reforms to implement a flat tax rate and reduced income tax during the ongoing debate over the budget. With it, they ushered in a $1.9 billion tax cut and lowered taxes to about 2.5 percent.
House Republicans announced their victory early that afternoon.
PHOENIX, Arizona – In an effort to speed along passage of the budget, Arizona House Republicans pushed through a rule change to limit debate on bills to 30 minutes. After that, amendments on that bill would be moved, explained, and voted on without debate, explanation of vote, or questions. Additionally, all protests were directed to be made in writing and submitted to the chief clerk.
The rule change passed along party lines, 31 to 29.
PHOENIX, Arizona – In a move mirroring the Texas House Democrats last week, the Arizona House Democrats walked out of the budget hearing on Tuesday. House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding (D-Laveen) and House Minority Whip Domingo DeGrazia (D-Tucson) reportedly committed to Republican House leadership that they wouldn’t stage a walkout.
In an interview with The Arizona Sun Times, State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Gilbert) asserted that the Republican side of the House showed up willing to listen to and discuss the Democrats’ amendments. He said that this latest stunt was an indicator of who had the people’s best interest at heart.