I want to thank the voters of Legislative District Four for allowing me to serve during this decade of our current legislative district boundaries. It has been my highest honor to fight for the values of the majority of our district. Whatever the future hold in redistricting for the West Valley and Yavapai County, I am sure that you will be well represented by someone that mirrors your conservative values.
There are a few things that you can expect from the Legislature this year. First, after all of the lawsuits by people who wanted more of your money and could not get it from the Legislature are settled, the surplus will be minimal. During the sudden economic decline, the state incurred debt that must be paid off. There are bonds now against previously free-and-clear buildings, and there is short-term debt that must be paid. The short-term debt is deferred payments to the K-12 public school system and the universities. The “K-12 rollover” is a deferment that happens almost every economic recession, but the warrants incur interest charges and should be paid off first. The bonds or “certificates of participation” against buildings were offered to private citizens first and then investment companies bought the rest. They had a two-year payment deferral and the investors are just starting to get their payments on the loan they made the state. These bonds will take some time to pay off, like the mortgage on your home.
Arizona is poised for an economic rebound, but it will not be in the home-building industry. With the corporate income tax rate slated to phase down starting in 2014, manufacturers looking for a friendly state will relocate to Arizona. The reductions in real property taxes, business personal property taxes, and the income tax rate will be an economic driver to rival China’s economic expansion. Arizonans will have to further learn trades such as robotics, aerospace, and technology. With the jobs bill passed by the Legislature in 2011, the Arizona Commerce Authority has the ability to make small investments in relocating companies that Arizona needs for employment.
Family-values issues and border security are near and dear to my heart. The cost of illegal immigration in Arizona is estimated at $2.3 billion. The cost of children and single parents on welfare is not something I have studied, but I believe divorce is a major factor on the number of people on AHCCCS and other welfare programs. If ObamaCare is fully implemented, the state budget will be crushed by the number of people on AHCCCS, already about 23% of the population. Arizona needs to get its southern border secure, its families solidified, and its legal residents employed.
The Governor’s acceptance of the federal government’s so-called “Stimulus”, actually locked the Legislature into spending levels classified as “Maintenance Of Effort.” Now that MOE will not be held against the state, the Legislature can be more responsible to your priorities in budgeting. We want to hear from you about your priorities. Email me at Jharper@azleg.gov or call the office at 602-926-4178. Thank you.
Jack W Harper, Republican in the new “Legislative District 22”