Governor Doug Ducey ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff on June 30, 2021, in honor of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives protecting fellow Arizonans from the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013.
“Arizona lost 19 heroic firefighters eight years ago to one of the most devastating wildfires in state history,” said Ducey in a press release on Tuesday. “These brave men gave their all in defense of our communities, and their service remains among the greatest ever known to our state. We will never forget their sacrifice.”
“When the Yarnell Hill Fire struck, the Granite Mountain Hotshots defended Arizona communities against the flames without hesitation,” stated Ducey. “They didn’t shy away from their duties, and did everything they could to protect those in harm’s way. Today we remember the heroism of these firefighters, and send thoughts and prayers to their families, loved ones and the entire wildland fire community.”
On Tuesday, Republicans were stunned to discover that a popular bill, SCR 1003, had opposition in the Senate. The bill, sponsored by Sen Warren Petersen, passed with the support of all Republican legislators through the Senate earlier in the session.
The bill was amended in the House and needed the nod of the Senate before heading to the governor. However, Sen. TJ Shope, who had previously supported the bill, is now saying he is opposed.
Every Republican supported SCR1003 when it passed the Senate in February. Four months later the House finally sent an amended version back to the Senate. Now we’re hearing that @TJShopeforAZ has flip-flopped, & is blocking it from final passage. Sen. Shope: please support SCR1003 pic.twitter.com/7BWqeBzOKA
Because the bill deals with reining in the governor’s executive powers, Capitol insiders believe Shope’s opposition stems from his allegiance to the governor.
As amended the bill:
1. Authorizes the Governor to proclaim a state of emergency as provided by law.
2. Stipulates that a state of emergency, except for a state of war emergency, terminates by proclamation of the Governor or by concurrent resolution of the Legislature.
3. Directs the Governor to call a special session to assemble the Legislature within 10 days to determine whether to terminate or modify the state of emergency and to address matters by enacting laws or issuing legislative orders.
4. Asserts that legislative orders have the same authority as executive orders.
5. Outlines the powers, processes and procedures of the Legislature when called into a special session during a state of emergency.
6. Specifies that a special session may not adjourn until the state of emergency that caused the special session is terminated.
7. Provides requirements for when the Governor protests any actions due to the issuance of a legislative order or terminations or modifications of an executive order.
8. Prohibits the Governor, if the Legislature terminates a state of emergency, from proclaiming a new state of emergency arising out of the same conditions.
9. Stipulates that if the proclaimed state of emergency is terminated by the Legislature, the Governor may not proclaim a new state of emergency arising out of the same conditions for which the terminated state of emergency was proclaimed.
10. Directs the Secretary of State to submit this proposition to the voters at the next general election
The next Republican Prescott Mayor will be chosen in the August 3, 2021 primary. The two candidates are Phil Goode and the incumbent, Greg Mengarelli. Early voting begins on July 7th.
When people ask me why Prescott is so special and what does it mean to me, I always respond that Prescott is traditional America with the values and the culture that Americans have always loved and sought.
Many of us are fed up with the political class in Washington, D.C. and throughout state and local governments that holds its citizens in low regard and favors itself rather than the citizens it supposedly represents. Such a culture appears to be raising its head locally in this election.
Let’s look at the two candidates seeking victory on August 3rd. Which of these two candidates can best represent American values and protect Prescott culture, its small town feel, and critically, its future, with governance of water policy and development that is competent, honest, transparent and without even the perception of self-interest?
The key question is who will best “serve” the citizens of Prescott as Mayor? A generic description of the individual who will best “serve” the citizens of Prescott is the candidate who has a history of service for fellow citizens and community organizations and proven leadership roles in the real world not conflated with personal gain and profit.
At its June 28 meeting, the Arizona State Board of Education did not approve the SAT for the Menu of Assessments for the 2021-2022 school year. The decision requires all schools to only administer the ACT Aspire and ACT in high school as the statewide assessment.
In June 2020, the Board awarded ACT, in partnership with NCS Pearson, the contract for the statewide assessment beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. As part of the 5-Year Assessment Plan, the Board intended for the nationally recognized college exam that failed to win the bid for the statewide assessment, in this case SAT, to be on the Menu of Assessments.
This would have allowed schools to administer either the ACT or the SAT to high school students.
However, in January 2021 the College Board decided to remove the essay portion from the SAT. In order to be federally compliant, the state needs to assess writing. The Board determined that it was better to not approve the SAT for the Menu rather than risk federal funds again.
The State Board indicated it would consider approving the SAT for the Menu should the College Board offer an essay portion in the future.
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Education placed Arizona on “high-risk status” due to its assessment system and threatened to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds.
Republican Arizona State Reps. Michelle Udall, Joanne Osbourne, and Joel John are coming under fire for their decision to deny over 700,000 kids school choice opportunities. The trio voted with all House Democrats to reject a proposal to expand the Empowerment Scholarship Account program.
Specifically, Udall, Osbourne, and John voted against an amendment offered by Rep. Shawnna Bolick that would have expanded the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program to low-income students (about 80% of whom are minorities) and kids of Veterans.
ESAs allow families to utilize their education tax dollars and spend those funds on education choices that they deem best for their children. These dollars can be used to attend micro/pod schools, private schools, hiring tutors, purchasing online curriculum, and other options that may work best for each unique student.
Critics say that by voting no on the Bolick amendment, Udall, Osborne, and John became the only three Republicans to vote against this measure and sided with the teachers’ union and anti-school choice groups like Save Our Schools.
Additionally, a poll conducted by the #1 pollster in the country according to the NY Times showed that 75% of Arizonan’s support school choice and that 73% of Arizonans support this specific effort of helping low-income children. This means that the vast majority of Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters all support school choice.
Supporters of ESAs say students in Arizona needed this expansion especially in light of the drastic learning loss from Covid due to the sub-standard “virtual” education provided due to the refusal of teachers to return to in-class learning.