Freedomworks, one of the nation’s leading conservative grassroots organizations, recently launched a satellite office in Arizona and held a joint “Redfest Rally” with other Arizona conservative organizations Friday night to discuss getting conservative legislators into leadership positions in the Arizona Legislature. State Rep. Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale) is vying for Speaker of the House, likely facing off against House Majority Leader Ben Toma (R-Peoria), and State Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) is going up against longtime State Sen. David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista).
Chaplik told the crowd that people don’t trust the “fractured caucus” that exists currently under the leadership of House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), who lost his primary election earlier this month due to defeating numerous conservative bills including many election integrity bills. Chaplik called the legislature a “cesspool” of “sham favoritism,” and said Arizonans can expect a “more conservative caucus” in 2023.
Arizona is likely to become the first state in America that empowers students to take tax dollars with them to a school of their choosing.
Lawmakers sent House Bill 2853 to Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday. When the governor signs the bill, all of Arizona’s school-age children will be eligible for the Empowerment Scholarship Account. An ESA is a state-funded account that parents can spend on tuition and other education expenses. The program is currently limited to disabled students, those in failing schools or others that qualify in a handful of other methods.
The 2022 Arizona legislative session is almost over, but there are still a few key bills policy watchers say have a good chance of making it into law. One is HB 2853, which would expand school choice by opening Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) to all K-12 students in the state.
Cory DeAngelis, a national education policy expert who serves as national director of research for the school choice organization, American Federation for Children, tweeted, “This would be the most expansive education savings account program in the nation. All families would be able to take their children’s education dollars to the education providers of their choosing.”