SB 2 Update from the Capitol

Another jam packed week at the capitol! Things are starting to ramp up, as more bills get heard and we vote on the final version of bills on the Senate floor.

We are starting to get into the period where some of the controversial bills get heard for the first time – bills dealing with things like vouchers, guns in public buildings, and making the theft of an American flag a felony (yes, that is a bill we heard last week!)

I am starting to get more comfortable in my role, but every day is a marathon. I usually get to the office at 7am (unless I have a breakfast event), where I like to prepare for the day and answer emails from constituents. My meetings usually start around 9am, and last fifteen minutes at a time. My schedule is usually stacked back-to-back all morning, leading up to lunch and then floor session at 1:30pm.

Friday’s are usually an “off day” at the capitol, but I still schedule meetings throughout the day and even visits to the district, for events like school visits or meetings with our local school superintendents.

And if that’s not enough, I like to come in on the weekend, mainly to get ready for the next week. This involves reading bills, catching up on emails, and analyzing research memos. The life of a legislator is never boring!

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In addition to the four bills I mentioned last week, I have two more that deal with education specifically:

SB 1411 – Have you heard all this talk about sports teams receiving taxpayer money for stadiums? I did, so I had an idea: what if we mandated that we set aside 10% of the revenue that is generated in one of these special tax districts and give it to the K-12 schools in that area? That’s what this bill does. If the state is going to create a special tax district specifically for a stadium or an arena, let’s fund K-12 schools too.

SB 1427 – This bill deals with student tuition organizations (STO’s). STO’s can set aside up to ten percent of the contributions they receive and use it to pay for administrative expenses, taking dollars out of the classroom. This bill would lower that cap to five percent, and mandate that all STO’s report where administrative dollars are going to the state on an annual basis.

Both of these bills, if passed, would generate more dollars for our K-12 schools, and in the case of SB 1427, increase transparency and accountability. Sounds like a win win to me!

As a reminder, you can track all of the bills I have co-sponsored and introduced so far this session here!

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Senate Finance Committee Report – Last Wednesday’s Finance Committee meeting was a successful one. We passed several bipartisan bills that I was proud to support. The first was Senator Steve Farley’s SB 1144, which looks at all of the tax credits and exemptions in the state tax code, and outlines a process to review them on a regular basis.

The second, SB 1212, is an ‘angel investor’ tax credit program that has helped several companies in our district who otherwise would have difficulty getting access to credit. I was proud to support the bill, and I hope it makes its way to the governor’s desk.

Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee Report – Yesterday’s Commerce and Public Safety Committee meeting was much tamer than last week’s hearing. Most of the bills we discussed were unanimous, and I only voted no on one bill, which had to do with evictions and lease agreements.

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Capitol Snapshot – I hope to make this a recurring feature. Here are some of the photos that we took at the capitol last week:

Wednesday last week was Pharmacy Day at the capitol, where I got to meet dozens of students from Midwestern University and the University of Arizona. Learned a lot about all of the great things are medical schools are doing across the state!

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As I outlined earlier, I was proud to support SB 1212, which helps many LD18 companies. Here is a screenshot of my speech in support of the bill during last Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing.

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Finally, a sneak peek at my Senate office! We moved the furniture around and added some artwork on loan from the state capitol museum. If you haven’t seen our office, come by and visit!

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As always, you can follow me on Facebook and on Twitter for more up to the minute updates. I appreciate all of your help and support – if you can, please consider showing your support today so I can keep fighting for our values and priorities at the state capitol. It is an honor to represent you in the state senate!

Yours in the fight,

Sean

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