Arizona Republican legislators proposed a bill this session to bring oversight of the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind (ASDB) closer in line with the Arizona Constitution’s provisions for regular schools. For about 100 years, the ASDB has only faced oversight once every 10 years, instead of the two-year requirement in the Arizona Constitution that applies to schools. The ASDB serves 2,100 students at campuses in Phoenix and Tucson.
State Sen. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), who chairs the Senate Government Committee which heard HB 2456, explained during a speech to the Senate Committee of the Whole on April 13 why he believes a shorter extension is necessary. He said the Democrats who oppose the shorter extension want to treat oversight of the children the same way the government treats its oversight of “changing thermostats” infrequently at the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA).
Arizona State Sen. Jake Hoffman’s (R-Queen Creek) sponsored bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1695, passed through the Senate Government Committee Thursday. The bill aims to prevent any possible voter disenfranchisement in future Arizona elections by allowing counties to redo an election.
“We will never stand, as Republicans here in the state of Arizona, for voter disenfranchisement,” said Hoffman during the committee. “I stand on the side of voters, not Republican voters. I stand on the side of all voters, whether they’re an Independent, whether they’re a Democrat, whether they’re a Green Party, a Libertarian, or a Republican. I stand on the side of every single voter. You should not ever be disenfranchised because election officials broke the law.”
One of the biggest priorities in the Arizona Legislature this year is election integrity, due to concerns about fraud in the 2020 Arizona presidential election. Legislators have dropped many bills to combat voter fraud, with seven passing out of the Senate Government Committee on Monday.
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, who has been one of the strongest proponents of cleaning up election fraud, including helping get an audit launched into the Maricopa County 2020 election, told The Arizona Sun Times, “It is encouraging to see our state legislators taking action and focusing on election integrity. The objective information from the Arizona Audit — America’s Audit — is showing us the way to make voting more secure. These bills are yet another reason why the full forensic audit was justified.”