Don’t you wonder just what some members of the majority in the Arizona Legislature have against helping our young people become contributing members of an improved economy? Arizona ranks among the worst in the nation for support of our public schools. Every time the Legislature needs money, they cut school funding.
And, beyond that, what do they have against our Arizona Community Colleges? In 2011, the majority members voted to cut state funding for Arizona’s community colleges by $73 million—approximately half of the colleges’ state funding. Now, in 2012, the same people have voted to leave community college funding unchanged, keeping the 50% cut in place for another year, according to the Arizona Daily Star, 4/1/11, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee FY 2012 Appropriations Report, and the Arizona Republic, 5/1/12.
In April 2011, my opponent, Sen. Gail Griffin, voted for SB 1618, the higher education budget that reduced community college funding by approximately 50 percent. In May of this year, Griffin voted for SB 1530, to keep those spending cuts in place (SB 1618, Third Read, 4/1/11; SB 1530, Third Read, 5/1/12). Griffin’s votes show not only a lack of forward thinking and leadership, they translate into policies that hold young people back. That makes no sense. It’s way past time to call out state legislators like Griffin for their indifference and unwillingness to support opportunities for these students—the next generation of Arizona wage-earners.
Patricia V. Fleming
Candidate, AZ Senate LD14
Sierra Vista, AZ.