This article is in reply to a recent Special to The Explorer written by Jo Holt published in the Feb. 20 issue of the paper. Because Arizona has had two balanced General Fund budgets in a row, our state is ranked number one in the nation for business startups. We went from 46th to number four in private sector job creation. We are 10th in overall great business climate compared to California which is ranked 50th. During the past four-year recessionary period, we never let K-12 public school per pupil funding go below $9,000 (federal, state plus local funding). We mortgaged the Senate, House and Executive buildings in order to protect K-12 education funding. The north side of Tucson has four outstanding public school districts in Catalina Foothills, Amphi, Marana and Flowing Wells. We have more charter schools per capita and more school choice than any state. We have open enrollment between public school districts, tuition tax credits and a great home school program.
The Arizona Commerce Authority has opened two offices in California. One is in Silicon Valley and one is in Los Angeles. California based company CEO’s are being invited to Arizona to see our pro-business climate first hand. California is imploding from sky-high taxes, bloated government and job killing regulations. There is an exodus of companies and people from California. We are inviting them to come to Arizona instead of going to Texas. We are doing everything we can to let them know that they are wanted here. We have three outstanding public universities that can more than hold their own with their competition. Arizona has a first class railroad, interstate and airport transportation system which will get even better when the UPRR switching facility is established at Red Rock.
Arizona works when all of our people who want to work, are working. We need clean coal, gas and nuclear energy for base load electricity for the private sector including Intel, Raytheon and Honeywell. Wind and solar are nice, but they cannot power private sector industry more than the 1 to 2 percent they are doing now. We need to pull together and not engage in class warfare, including the left’s fixation of soaking the so called rich. We are on our way to being a very prosperous state for all of us. By pulling together, we can all succeed. Arizona is a great state that we all can and should be proud of.
(Editor’s Note: Al Melvin is a Republican Senator for District 11.)