Arizona Republican Legislators Respond to State of the State Address, Say Political Games Will Not Sidetrack Them

Following the State of the State address from Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D), Majority Leaders State Representative Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu) and State Senator Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu) released a video responding to the speech.

“You heard from Governor Hobbs; she does not want a policy discussion but a hasty action for political points. Our founding fathers set up the legislative process that works,” said Borrelli. “We will not be sidetracked or bullied for political games. It [the legislative process] is divinely inspired by our founding fathers. We will stick to the mission.”

Biasiucci said the legislature’s ultimate goal would be to better the state for its citizens and work with elected officials to get that done. However, he also said they would not work as rubber stamps for reckless spending or budgets that don’t put citizens first.

Hobbs’s roughly 40-minute speech came the same day the State Senate and House opened for the 56th Legislative Session. As a Democrat governor working with a majority Republican legislature, Hobbs acknowledged that they will not always see eye to eye but asked for cooperation in addressing the “issues that matter most to the people of this state.” However, Hobbs said she would have little patience for anyone peddling “conspiracy theories, pushing agendas for special interests, attacking the rights of your fellow Arizonans, or seeking to further undermine our democracy.”

Moving into her policy plans, one of the first topics Hobbs discussed was education. She said the “archaic” aggregate expenditure limit (AEL) in Arizona’s Constitution must be addressed soon. The AEL was passed by Arizona voters in 1980 and limits how much a public school can spend in a school year. While there was a demand for holding a special session to address the AEL while former Gov. Doug Ducey (R) was still in office, the session never came to fruition. Hobbs stated that if the cap is not lifted by March 1st, public schools must make significant budget cuts.

Biasiucci stated the legislature favors addressing the cap and would ensure schools do not lose money allocated for them in the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget. However, he emphasized that the legislature would not rush this process.

Moreover, Hobbs also blasted the universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) expansion passed by the legislature last year, stating it would “bankrupt the state.” However, Biasiucci made it clear that retaining school choice will remain a priority.

“We also think it’s only right that Arizona students have the same choice that Governor Hobbs had attending a private school, which she credits for helping her build a better life,” Biasiucci said.

Additionally, Hobbs spoke on Arizona’s financial future, praising the state’s current robust job market and potential for future growth. She stated her administration would support a $150 million investment into the Housing Trust Fund and lower costs for Arizonans by removing the sales tax from diapers and feminine hygiene products.

However, the legislators said this proposal does not go far enough to help all Arizonans.

“A narrow proposal to cut sales tax on diapers and hygiene items alone will not solve the historic inflation families are dealing with today,” Biasiucci said. “That’s why we’re proposing to reduce costs for citizens by eliminating the food tax and rental tax. You should not have to struggle to pay for the most basic items.”

Before ending the address, Hobbs covered important issues such as water, energy, abortion, and the border.

– – –

Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Leo Biasiucci and Sonny Borrelli” by AZSenateRepublicans.


Related posts

One Thought to “Arizona Republican Legislators Respond to State of the State Address, Say Political Games Will Not Sidetrack Them”

  1. […] far, the only issue some GOP legislators and Hobbs have appeared to agree upon is lifting the aggregate expenditure limit, which meant schools avoided making […]