The Election is (Nearly) Over…Tell Us What’s Next
It is one week after the election and the votes are literally still being counted. With most of the results settled, Arizona has 17 Republicans and 13 Democrats in the state Senate. Only two senators are brand new to the legislature: Bob Worsley from Mesa and Kelli Ward, a physician from Mojave County. Based on current vote counts, the state House has 36 Republicans and 24 Democrats with 26 people brand new to the state legislature. Andy Biggs from Gilbert is the new Senate President and Andy Tobin from Yavapai County remains the Speaker of the House. Leah Landrum Taylor from South Phoenix was elected the new minority leader in the senate and Chad Campbell from Central Phoenix remains the minority leader in the House. The elections give us an opportunity to turn newly elected legislators into champions for children while in office.
Proposition 204 was defeated with a decisive 65% NO vote statewide. The reasons are many, including expensive legal challenges that diverted attention and resources from the main message, politicians and lobbyists who went all out to preserve their own power, and huge investments from out-of-state groups. I think it is also clear that voters are wary of “permanent tax increases” and want more assurance about how their dollars will be invested for education.
All of the discussion throughout the campaign from both sides made it clear that education must be a top priority for Arizona’s success. There is broad consensus that current funding for education is insufficient for that success.
Together we face the challenges ahead of improving children’s education, health, and security as the temporary sales tax expires and the fiscal cliff looms at the federal level. I am interested in your analysis of the election and your suggestions on how we can move forward. Please reply to this e-mail – we welcome your input.
With the spirit and energy of supporters like you across the state, Children’s Action Alliance stands ready to inform and mobilize action for kids with our new state legislature. Thank you.
Dana Wolfe Naimark
President and CEO