Monday, March 2, 2015

ASU President Michael Says:Education A Low Priority With AZ Governor Doug Ducey

ASU President Michael Crow blasted Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s proposed $75 million cut to the universities, writing to ASU’s alumni community and others that the governor’s budget plan “signals to the state and the nation that higher education is a low priority in Arizona.” Which will hurt the governor's self-image as Arizona's marketer-in-chief.
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ASU President Michael Crow's E-Mail
Dear Member of the Arizona State University Community:
I am writing to provide you with an update on the Governor's recommendation for state investment in Arizona State University for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015. I am writing because we have received questions from alums, business leaders, students and parents about what these cuts are and what they mean.
While we all appreciate the difficulties faced by the Governor in setting priorities for state investment, we continue to believe that investment in higher education is one of the most important ways of helping advance our families, our businesses, and our state economy. Accordingly, I'd like to acquaint you with two critical concerns:
1. As presented, the Governor's recommendation for state investment in higher education signals to the state and the nation that higher education is a low priority in Arizona.
2. As presented, the Governor's recommendation for state investment in higher education reverses several major policy decisions that were previously made by the Arizona Board of Regents and the State of Arizona about how state funding for higher education would be allocated. Any reversal of these policy decisions would negatively impact ASU.
Governor Ducey's Recommendation for Reduced Investment in Higher Education
Governor Ducey's recommendation for reduced investment in higher education in Arizona is equal to approximately 58 percent of the total actual budget cuts in state spending he has recommended for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2015.
In other words, Governor Ducey has recommended that Arizona's public universities again shoulder the primary responsibility for balancing the state budget.
State investment in higher education is an investment in economic development. States with higher rates of educated residents report healthier and more productive state economies. Cutting the state investment in higher education does not constitute a state strategy or vision for higher education in Arizona. It is merely a convenient but temporary "fix" for the larger problems not being addressed by the State of Arizona.
Governor Ducey's Recommendation for the Allocation of Cuts in University Investment
The $75 million in cuts to state higher education investment recommended by Governor Ducey have been allocated by the Governor among the universities using a methodology that (a) protects certain programs at the University of Arizona from being cut at the overall recommended level and (b) reduces the state investment in the universities based only upon the number of students enrolled at each university.
As a result, the total proposed cut in funding for higher education of $75 million was allocated by Governor Ducey as follows:
ASU $40.3 million
NAU $13.1 million
UA $21 million
Because these cuts to the universities are complicated, I wanted to let you know they are completely inconsistent with the long process of establishing baseline "parity" of state investment between and among the three state universities.
And perhaps more importantly, this method of allocating the reductions in state investment in higher education is also completely inconsistent with the principle of investing in higher education based on the performance of each university.
If the Governor's method of allocating state investment and reductions in investment is adopted, it will once again lead to major funding disparities between and among the universities and significantly disadvantage Arizona State University.
Conclusion
I hope this information is helpful to you in understanding how the Governor's budget proposal will adversely impact Arizona State University.
Over the years, the enormous reductions in the State of Arizona's investment in higher education have had to be replaced by, among other things, higher tuition (i.e. higher taxes) for our students and their families.
While we at ASU are committed to not raising tuition next year for students from Arizona as a result of Governor Ducey's latest round of cuts to higher education, it is certainly time for the State of Arizona to recognize higher education as a priority investment that should be made in human capital to help Arizona, its economy and its people move forward.
Michael M. Crow
President
Arizona State University

Is Arizona Governor Doug Ducey listening About Education Budget Cuts?

Is the governor listening?
PNI rally against school funding cuts 0224151130mbf
The Capitol lawn was packed with hundreds of teachers, parents, students and concerned citizens delivering a very clear message to Gov. Doug Ducey about his proposed budget – “No ifs, ands, or buts – no more budget cuts.”

House Democrats joined the rally, calling for the governor to invest in education. Do not be fooled by Ducey's claim that his budget puts more money in the classroom.  He is playing a shell game - cutting K-12 education by $13.5 million and refusing to return the voter-mandated $330 million inflation funding to our schools. For years, Republicans have been balancing the budget on the backs of Arizona kids. Teachers’ salaries are too low and classroom sizes are too big. By failing to invest in education, the governor continues to jeopardize the state’s economic stability. Any true economic recovery plan focuses on education, so that students are prepared for higher education and for 21st century jobs.

But the governor has also proposed slashing $75 million from universities. This prompted ASU President Michael Crow to write a letter in which he stated that “Arizona’s public universities again shoulder the primary responsibility for balancing the state budget.” He added that Ducey’s budget “signals to the state and the nation that higher education is a low priority in Arizona.”  

Crow is right. A budget is a statement of values. Ducey’s budget cuts education funding, while bankrolling $100 million over three years for a new private prison. This despite the fact that Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan told the House Appropriations committee that there is currently space available in some state prisons. Does this mean Ducey values incarceration more than education?


It is also an indication that the governor is out of touch with what Arizonans want. A recent poll from the Morrison Institute shows that education is a top priority for people in this state. The message is loud and clear; the governor needs to fund education. The question remains, is his listening? Source: Arizona House Democrats

What's Being Said About Former Texas Governor Rick Perry's “ELECTRIC” CPAC SPEECH

Every year Conservative Political Action Conference "CPAC" holds a meeting in Washington D.C. and conservatives from across the states attend.  Below is what the media new and mainstream plus attendees had to say about Perry's speech.
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 Perry's full CPAC speech
“Electric, Energizing” … “Swagger” … “Pulled No Punches” … “An Impressive Showing” … “Bold Words … “Reaganesque” … “Greeted With Applause And Cheers Of Approval”“Getting CPAC Crowd Fired Up” … “Standing Ovation” … “Fiery” … “Animated, Energetic” … “Big Standing Ovation” … “Glasses On And Fists Flying”

American Spectator’s Emily Zanotti: “Perry Was Electric, Energizing The Tired Audience With His Trademark Texas-Sized Personality…” “This morning’s round of Presidential contenders featured the Texas governor and Sen. Marco Rubio, but where Rubio was steadfast and eminently relatiable, Rick Perry was electric, energizing the tired audience with his trademark Texas-sized personality and his brand new hipster glasses.” (American Spectator, 2/27/15)
Zanotti: “Rick Perry Is Far Better At Mornings Than I Am. Rick Perry Might Be Better At Mornings Than Almost Anyone.” (American Spectator, 2/27/15)

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “Perry Made An Impressive Showing… A Shot Across The Bow Of Other Candidates…” “Perry made an impressive showing, demonstrating that he knows his stuff on foreign policy and can talk authoritatively about his economic and regulatory accomplishments. It was a shot across the bow of other candidates: This is not the Perry of 2012.” (The Washington Post’s “Right Turn” Blog, 2/27/15)
Rubin: “And To Great Applause, He Vowed That ‘We Even Survived Jimmy Carter. We Can Survive The Obama Years, Too.’” (The Washington Post’s “Right Turn” Blog, 2/27/15)
Rubin: “In The Q And A [Perry] Did Extremely Well…” “In the Q and A he did extremely well, delineating his success in lowering pollutants with incentive-based regulations and reiterating that he secured the border when Obama would not.” (The Washington Post’s “Right Turn” Blog, 2/27/15)

Politico’s Daniel Lippman: “Perry Struck An Energetic And Strident Tone…” “Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry struck an energetic and strident tone against terrorism, illegal immigration and President Barack Obama as he spoke to conservative and libertarian activists on Friday morning here at the Conservative Political Action Conference.” (Politico, 2/27/15)

The Hill’s Jonathan Easley: “The Big Talking Texan Can Still Work A Crowd… His Texas Swagger Was Well-Received Among Conservatives At The Conference…” “The big talking Texan can still work a crowd. He walked on stage to AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black,’ and his Texas swagger was well-received among conservatives at the conference.” (The Hill, 2/27/15)

The Blaze’s Zach Noble: Perry “Pulled No Punches…” “Addressing the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference Friday morning, the former governor pulled no punches as he attacked the Obama administration and touted himself as the kind of leader America needs.” (The Blaze, 2/27/15) Noble: “He Took The Stage To AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ And Bragged About Texas. That’s Rick Perry For You.” (The Blaze, 2/27/15) 
The Blaze Headline: “Rick Perry’s Texas-Sized Speech Fires Up Conservative Activists” (The Blaze, 2/27/15) 

The Washington Times’ David Sherfinski: “A Fired-Up Rick Perry…” “A fired-up Rick Perry warned the crowd Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington that ‘at no time in the last 25 years has the future been more uncertain and the world more dangerous than it is today.’” (The Washington Times, 2/27/15)

Texas Tribune’s Abby Livingston: “Perry Held The Crowd With Withering Criticisms Of President Obama’s Foreign Policy.” (Texas Tribune, 2/27/15)

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman: “Many Lines In His Speech Were Greeted With Applause And Cheers Of Approval…” “Still, Mr. Perry has a conservative record as a former Texas governor, and many lines in his speech were greeted with applause and cheers of approval.” (The New York Times, 2/27/15)

Fox News’ “Insider” Blog: “An Animated Address… Drew A Big Ovation…” “In an animated address (watch below), Perry lambasted the president for his refusal to acknowledge that ISIS is a ‘religious movement.’ … And he drew a big ovation with this line.  ‘We had a Civil War, two World Wars, we survived a depression. We even survived Jimmy Carter. We will survive the Obama years too!’ said Perry.” (Fox News’ “Insider” Blog, 2/27/15)

Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Hearing Is TODAY

Steve Muratore, Mr. AZ Eagletarian is there to cover the story and report on SCOTUS redistricting oral arguments
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This case will be argued on Monday, March 2.
Case Update: Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Argument preview: Who, exactly, is "the legislature"?

At 10 a.m. Monday, the Supreme Court will hear one hour of oral argument on the power of voters to take away from state legislatures the task of drawing new election district maps.  In Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the lawmakers will be represented by Paul D. Clement of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Bancroft PLLC, with thirty minutes of time.  Dividing time on the other side will be Eric J. Feigin, an assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, representing the federal government as an amicus supporting the redistricting commission, and Seth P. Waxman of the Washington, D.C., office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, speaking for the commission.
Background
From time to time, at least since 1898, the people in America’s states have decided to take government into their own hands, withdrawing it from elected politicians when the voters think they have done the job badly, or not at all.  “Direct democracy” has cycles of popularity, and may be in a new one now, as political polarization spreads worry that elected lawmakers think party first and public good second.  The Supreme Court looks into such a reclaiming of people power next week.

SRP Board Votes to Kill Solar Jobs, Arizona's Business Reputation

TUSK Press Release
Salt River Project Approves Job Killing Solar Penalty. Bad For Business. Lawsuit Next
(TEMPE)  The SRP board voted today to accept SRP's proposal, which prevents Arizonans in SRP territory from going solar, and prevents them from making a living in the solar industry. SRP, which is not subject to the public-interest regulatory oversight given to investor-owned utilities, has unilaterally eliminated the solar industry in its territory.
 As other states across the country embrace rooftop solar as the most free market development in the history of American electricity-- to the tune of more than 30,000 solar jobs created last year alone-- Arizona is becoming one of the most anti-business environments in the country, as monopoly utilities exercise brute force over their captive customers.
 "Arizonans worked hard to build a thriving, job-creating solar industry," said TUSK chairman Barry Goldwater. "Now utilities like SRP are destroying Arizona's reputation as a safe place for businesses to invest in jobs and growth."
 Goldwater continued, “In a letter to SRP President David Rousseau last week, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive promised that if the core tenets of SRP’s proposal are approved, SolarCity would sue the utility for violations of Arizona and Federal anti-trust laws. Rather than step back from the brink and consider what is fair and good for the people of SRP territory, SRP has decided they’d rather lawyer up and fight it out in court.”
SRP’s proposal damages the Arizona's economic and financial prospects in three important ways:
  • It attacks the ability of Arizona's real estate industry to sell homes that have solar, as the new home buyer would be stuck with sky high solar penalties from day one. 
  • It prevents SRP ratepayers from making the common sense choice to go solar, by sticking any new solar customers with steep and punitive penalties.
  • It attacks thousands of Arizonans who may no longer be able to make a living in the rooftop solar industry.
To learn more about T.U.S.K. visit www.dontkillsolar.com. T.U.S.K. believes that rooftop solar is similar to a charter school—it provides a competitive alternative to the monopoly. Monopoly utilities aren’t known for reducing costs or for driving business innovation, but the solar industry is. Solar companies have a track record of aggressive cost reduction. The more people use rooftop solar, the less power they need to buy from the utilities. Energy independence means smaller profits for the utilities, so they are doing everything they can to stop the spread of independent solar.      

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Kevin McCarthy The Leader's Daily Schedule - 3/2/15

Leader's Daily Schedule
MONDAY, MARCH 2NDOn Monday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
One Minute Speeches
Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 294 - Long-Term Care Veteran Choice Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
2) H.R. 280 - To authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to recoup bonuses and awards paid to employees of the Department of Veterans Affair, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
Special Order Speeches

Arizona Schedule Legislature For Week Of March 2, 2015

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Cross Posted:Random Musings
All House committee agendas can be found here. All Senate committee agendas can be found here.
On the Senate side of the Capitol -
Natural Resources, Monday, 9 a.m., SHR109.  Presentations only, at this point.
State Debt and Budget Reform, Monday, 10 a.m., SHR3.  Presentations on state revenue from a few organizations, including, for some reason, the Goldwater Institute.
Water and Energy, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  Looks relatively harmless at this point.
Commerce and Workforce Development, Monday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: HB2346, stating that workers’ compensation insurance carriers don’t have to provide reimbursement for medical marijuana.
Rural Affairs and Environment, Tuesday, 9 a.m., SHR109. “Air quality rules are bad for industrial agriculture” day at the legislature.  On the agenda: A presentation on “Agricultural Air Quality Regulations by ADEQ and Industry Specialists”; HB2394, requiring that “anyone who commences a regulated agricultural activity to immediately comply with the agricultural general permit beginning January 1, 2016″ (quoting the legislative summary of the bill) – currently, there is an 18 month grace period before compliance with the agricultural permit is required; HB2581, creating something called the “Prescribed Burns Liability Study Committee”.
Transportation, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: HB2345, removing the requirements that motorcycles in AZ have handrails for passengers and that the handlebars of the motorcycles are designed so that the hands of the operator are below shoulder level.
Appropriations, Tuesday, 2 p.m., SHR109.  On the agenda: HB2380, a Republican grandstanding bill regarding “truth in spending” hearings.
Public Safety, Military, and Technology, Wednesday, 9 a.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: HB2377, Declaring that the Law Enforcement Merit System Council’s (LEMSC) determination for an appeal of a disciplinary action is final and binding and no longer subject to review by the director of an employer agency.
Health and Human Services, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR1. On the agenda: HB2238, a proposal to specify in state law that a health professional does not have to participate in a third party reimbursement program as a condition a receiving a professional license (this is from Sen. Kelli Ward [R-eyeing John McCain's Senate seat] and is her latest attempt to allow her fellow travelers to discriminate against Medicare/Medicaid patients).
Government, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR3.  On the agenda: HB2272, allowing a retired law enforcement officer who is a member of the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS), the Corrections Officer Retirement Plan (CORP), or the Elected Officials’ Retirement Plan (EORP) to purchase a firearm issued by an employer at a price determined by the employer; HB2509, making it a class 4 felony, except under specific circumstance, to take, or attempt to take, control of someone’s firearm.
Financial Institutions, Wednesday, 2 p.m., SHR109.  Looks harmless so far.
Finance, Thursday, 9 a.m., SHR3.  On the agenda: HB2001, indexing income tax brackets to the state’s inflation rate.  A back door tax and revenue cut, as the inflation rate tracks changes in living costs, not changes in wages (which are the basis for income, for most people anyway); HB2109, micromanaging ballot language for local bond elections; HB2538, micromanaging county special districts (flood control, library, etc.) regarding taxes.
Education, Thursday, 9 a.m., SHR1.  On the agenda: HB2180, mandating that the state board of education establish a menu of tests that schools can use to assess student achievement.
Judiciary, Thursday, 9:30 a.m., SHR109.  Looks relatively harmless at this point.
On the House side of the Capitol -
Rules, Monday, 1 p.m., HHR4.  Long agenda of bills to be rubber-stamped on their way to floor.action.
Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  On the agenda: SB1079, barring municipalities from preventing private enterprises from providing trash/recycling services to multifamily properties.
County and Municipal Affairs, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR4.  On the agenda: SB1069, barring municipalities and counties from requiring retail businesses to follow certain security requirements.
Children and Family Affairs, Monday, 2 p.m., HHR5.  Looks harmless so far.
Transportation and Infrastructure, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  Looks harmless so far.
Health, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR4.  Looks relatively harmless.
Banking and Financial Services, Tuesday, 2 p.m., HHR3.  Looks relatively harmless, though some of the bills border on being hyper-technical and I may be missing some of the nuances here.
Federalism and States’ Rights, Wednesday, 9 a.m., HHR5.  And so the streak of “not bad” agendas ends…  On that agenda: SCM1006, a love letter to Congress urging it to support the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Not sure how the recent presidential veto of the scheme will affect consideration; SCM1009, a love letter to Congress urging it to exempt military bases and military training facilities from complying with the Endangered Species Act; SCM1012, a love letter to Congress urging it to water down the Endangered Species Act; SCM1013, a love letter to Congress urging it to oppose any new EPA rules related to the Clean Air Act that impact electrical generating plants.
Commerce, Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., HHR1.  Looks harmless so far.
Insurance, Wednesday, 10 a.m., HHR4.  Looks harmless so far.
Education, Wednesday, 2 p.m., HHR4.  On the agenda: SB1074, requiring public school districts to allow charter schools to purchase or lease the unused facilities of public school districts; SB1286, allowing private colleges and universities to operate charter schools; SB1332, expanding school vouchers “empowerment scholarship accounts”.
Appropriations, Wednesday, 2 p.m., HHR1.  On the agenda: SB1188, relating to conforming AZ law to federal tax code.  An annual bill that usually sails through the lege, but this year, there is a little push-back on it – according to the fiscal analysis of the bill by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, it will result in a net reduction in state revenue of nearly $31 million.
Agriculture, Water, and Lands, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR3.  On the agenda: SB1185, appropriating $250K to the AZAG’s office to pay for litigation against the reintroduction of Mexican grey wolves in Arizona.
Government and Higher Education, Thursday, 9 a.m., HHR1.  On the agenda: mostly bills that are too technical for me to understand andSB1441, declaring that the official state metal is copper.
Military Affairs and Public Safety, Thursday, 10 a.m., HHR5.  On the agenda: SB1445, keeping secret for 90 days the name of law enforcement officers who kill or use deadly force.
The House has posted a COW (Committee of the Whole) calendar hereand here and here for Monday.  The Senate has posted no floor calendars at this point.

The Capitol Events calendar is here

March is Women's History Month-Women2Women Conversations Tour - March 12th Phoenix Arizona

We welcome ALL Women regardless of Political Party Affiliation...This is a Non-Partisan event ! March is Women's History Month Let's support these and all women who are willing to step forward.
 Women  2  Women Conversations Tour  ~ March 12th, 2015
We hope you will attend the First Women2Women Conversations Tour
which will be held on :
Thursday, March 12th, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
at the Embassy Suites Camelback,
2630 East Camelback Road, Phoenix.
This event is sponsored by Main Street Advocacy and is an effort to bring together female voters
 to discuss issues of concern and importance to them. 
The expectant Guest Speakers at the Phoenix event will be Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC) and Rep. Martha McSally (AZ)
 These congresswomen will lead attendees in a conversation of issues of importance to them as well as
informing about legislation currently before Congress. 
 Lisa Atkins will serve as moderator. 
There is No charge for the evening and cocktails and light refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP

 MainStreetAdvocacy.com/women as space will be limited.