Arizona Charter Schools Rank First in the Nation: Report

Arizona is frequently criticized for funding its schools less than most of the other states, usually tied for last with a handful of other states. But what doesn’t get covered as much is that it is ranked number one among the states for academic growth and charter schools.

Matthew Ladner, director of the Arizona Center for Educational Opportunity, a researcher with the Arizona Charter Schools Association, and former vice president of research for the Goldwater Institute, told The Arizona Sun Times, “If you had to choose between states with the most funding or states with the most academic growth, which one would you choose?”

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Arizona Doubles Victim Protection Order Duration

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill to protect the victims of crime.

Ducey on Friday signed House Bill 2604, sponsored by Rep. Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix. The bill increases the length of protection, letting victims of crime have more time to protect themselves. It passed with unanimous support in both chambers of the legislature.

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Arizonans for Voter ID Act Makes Ballot, and 15 Election Integrity Bills Have Passed the Arizona House

The Arizona Legislature has voted to send the Arizonans for Voter ID Act to the ballot as a proposition this fall, and 15 more election integrity bills have passed the Arizona House. The Arizonans for Voter ID Act was initially launched as a citizens’ initiative by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which would have required 237,645 valid signatures to get on the ballot. SCR 1012, which passed along party lines, bypasses that time-consuming and often difficult process.

State Senator Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction), told the Arizona Sun Times, “Today the Senate Republican caucus met to discuss which bills they can support. We were able to get through much of what we have been proposing and received support from nearly all the members with two absent and not weighing in. I’m excited to see good election reform moving forward, ideas that will fortify election security so that voters can feel more secure about their votes. Bills deal with securing technology, ballot paper, chain of custody, removing drop boxes, improving signature verification, cleaning of the voter rolls, and many other items that we are looking to fix.”

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Grassroots ‘America Pack’ Recommends 36 Bills in the Arizona Legislature This Session

America Pack, a grassroots movement “built to empower citizens to hold elected officials accountable, advocate for honest elections, support law enforcement, and fight for freedom and liberty,” has issued a list of its most important bills this session in the Arizona Legislature. The topics primarily address election integrity, education, and COVID-19. They must be scheduled to be heard in a committee by Feb. 18, or they will die.

Election Integrity – House Government and Elections Committee

HB 2023, sponsored by State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Mesa) with several co-sponsors, requires digital images of ballots to be posted publicly online after elections.

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Gov. Ducey Pushing Democratic-Sponsored Bill to Create an Earned Income Tax Credit in Arizona

Sean Bowie and Doug Ducey

Arizona doesn’t have an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which mostly gives straight cash to those who don’t earn enough money to obtain a state tax refund, but Gov. Doug Ducey wants to change that. He is supporting SB 1018, sponsored by Senator Sean Bowie (D-Phoenix), which would create one, joining 30 other states which have adopted one patterned after the federal EITC. 

A state EITC would take $74 million from the state’s coffers annually and give it to low earners. In order to qualify, income levels would face the same ceilings as the federal credit. Both families and singles are eligible, with a family of four children earning $20,000 maxing out the most with $325.

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State Rep. Jake Hoffman Only Arizona Legislator to Score 100 Percent in American Conservative Union’s 2021 Ratings

The American Conservative Union rates members of Congress and state legislators every year, and this past year Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Mesa) was the only member of the Arizona Legislature to receive a perfect 100% rating. Other high scorers included Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa), Rep. Judy Burges (R-Prescott), and Rep. Travis Grantham (R-Gilbert), who scored 98%.

The lowest scoring Republicans were Sen. T.J. Shope (R-Florence) with 78%, Rep. John Joel (R-Buckeye) with 71%, Rep. Joanne Osborne (R-Goodyear) with 73%, Rep. David Cook (R-Globe) with 76%, the late Rep. Frank Pratt (R-Casa Grande) with 77%, and Rep. Tim Dunn (R-Yuma) with 78%.

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Arizona Lawmakers Demand Gov. Ducey Call a Special Session so They Can Stop COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for City of Phoenix Employees

The City of Phoenix instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees, and numerous Republican lawmakers want to stop it. Several legislators sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey demanding that he call a special session of the Arizona Legislature so they can pass legislation halting that mandate and any others in Arizona. 

Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix), Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), and Rep. Justin Wilmeth (R-Phoenix) wrote, “We urge you to immediately call us into a special session to pass legislation prohibiting any government entity from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. Since the Arizona Supreme Court struck down policy provisions added to the budget passed earlier this year as a violation of our state Constitution’s single subject clause, it is imperative we address medical freedom issues taking place in our K-12 public schools, public colleges and universities, and any city, county or town from imposing a vaccine passport or mandate on any person or business.” 

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Arizona Rep. Shawnna Bolick Demands Meeting with Mayo Clinic to Discuss Its Mandatory Vaccine Policy

Shawnna Bolick

Private employers around the country are implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, some in response to the mandate implemented by President Joe Biden on businesses with 100 or more employees through the Occupational and Safety Health Act (OSHA), and Arizona Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) is pushing back. Bolick sent a letter to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix demanding a meeting to discuss its vaccine mandate, stating that Biden’s OSHA mandate is unconstitutional and pointing out various reasons why Mayo should reconsider its policy. Bolick said that she has received dozens of emails from Mayo employees about it, including remote workers who work from home.

“During the height of the pandemic in 2020, these same health care heroes worked tirelessly for Mayo to care for the sick knowing they were potentially putting their own health and family’s health at risk,” she wrote. “Yet, just a year later, Mayo appears ready to show them the door considering the Biden/Harris administration’s lawless vaccine mandate.”

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Arizona State Rep. and Secretary of State Candidate Shawnna Bolick Favors Statewide Audit, Other Measures

The results of the Maricopa County ballot audit has many elected officials demanding accountability and action. Arizona State Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, issued a statement denouncing the fraud that the audit uncovered, and recommended conducting a statewide audit. 

Bolick said in a recent campaign update, criticizing Democratic election officials Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, “Who is surprised that Secretary Hobbs and the former Maricopa County Recorder Fontes bent the rules last year, taking advantage of Covid to consistently undermine our election processes? It didn’t stop in 2020. They continued to obstruct the State Senate’s audit to serve justice. Then we saw how Maricopa County refused to turn over election routers despite a subpoena, but it went deeper. Throughout the audit report, it was clear that at almost every point Maricopa County was uncooperative in providing important context and information. They disrupted the audit processes by deleting logs, files, and important documents from the Election Management System.”

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Warren Petersen, Shawnna Bolick Top Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona’s 2021 Scorecard

Warren Petersen and Shawnna Bolick

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona released its 2021 scorecard rating Arizona legislators this session, with just two legislators receiving perfect scores — and one of them actually scored 102 due to bonus points. Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) received an extra two points for his efforts on SCR 1001, a Senate Concurrent Resolution to terminate Governor Doug Ducey’s declaration of emergency on COVID-19. The resolution was highly critical of Ducey, observing that “Governor Ducey has subjected individual citizens to criminal sanctions for noncompliance with the stay-at-home orders.” It did not make it through the legislature.

Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, was the only representative to receive a perfect 100. Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa) received the Rookie of the Year award as the highest scoring freshman legislator, with 94. Petersen, Bolick and Parker were among seven legislators to receive perfect scores earlier this month from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club for their voting. 

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Seven State Legislators Score 100 Percent in Arizona Free Enterprise Club Rankings

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club gathered in a conference room

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club completed its rankings of how Arizona legislators performed during the 2021 legislative session, and one Senator and six House members scored a perfect 100%. AFEC ranked them based on election integrity, income tax policy, “regulatory relief and ongoing government overreach from the covid-19 pandemic, banning critical race theory in our taxpayer-funded institutions and school choice.”

The seven legislators with a perfect score are Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) and Reps. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa), Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction), Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), and Travis Grantham (R-Gilbert). 

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Hobbs’ Campaign Manager Calls Vietnamese-American State Legislator a ‘White Nationalist’ for Opposing CRT

Arizona State Rep. Martin Quezada (D-Maryvale), who is also the campaign manager for Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, tweeted on July 9 that fellow legislator, Vietnamese-American Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott), is a “white nationalist” for tweeting Governor Doug Ducey’s announcement of Arizona’s new law banning critical race theory. Nguyen, who is Vietnamese, fled Vietnam with his brother during the Vietnam War as a refugee, living in refugee camps until they were reunited with their parents four months later. 

Nguyen tweeted a news release from the governor’s website, “Governor Ducey, Legislature Take Strong Action to Stop Critical Race Theory” with a link. Quezada copied the tweet and wrote, “This is what #WhiteNationalism looks like,” with an arrow pointing at Nguyen’s tweet. 

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Arizona State Rep. Shawnna Bolick Launches Campaign for Secretary of State

Shawnna Bolick

State Representative Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) has launched a campaign to enter the growing field of candidates running for Arizona’s Secretary of State. 

The position has dramatically increased its statewide profile after many individuals expressed concerns over the handling of the November 2020 election.

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