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.)

(5) comments


Good luck !

John Flanagan

I agree. Class warfare is getting to be a major talking point instead of intelligent discourse and problem solving. There are lots of areas for debate in Arizona, and if we are all mature and reasonable, we can find common ground.


As usual, Senator Melvin grossly overstates the quality of education in Arizona. According to the EPE Research Center which publishes Education Week, AZ ranks 43rd in the quality of education out of all the states. It gets a C- and ranks well below the national average.
You can offer companies all the perks you want, but unless you have quality education in place, you will only attract low wage jobs.
Arizona can do much better than this.


OMG!!! Senator Melvin is a broken record. What he said in this article about education, but it it not the whole truth.
FACT #1 - from 2008 to 2012, the AZ legislature cut per pupil funding more than any other state in the nation - 21.8%
FACT #2 - Yes, AZ has more charter schools and school choice than any other state, but we are ranked #46 in education performance. So, what's your his???
FACT #3 - Public education funding is being diverted away from traditional public schools to charters, private schools and other venues and since 88% of our AZ students attend traditional public schools, they are the ones who are suffering.
FACT #4 - There is no standard required of homeschoolers in Arizona. So, how can Senator Melvin say we have a "great home school" program? By who's standards? In fact, the state Department of Education is prohibited from regulating home schoolers and no standardized testing is required.

Senator Melvin's schtick works when people don't bother to check out the whole story. I'm watching and I hope you'll join me!

Grant Winston

jank13 is absolutely right. Sen. Melvin and the Republican majority have starved and beaten public education, and done all they can to take taxpayer money and give it to religious schools in violation of the religious rights of thousands of taxpayers. He has done more class warfare than almost anyone in the legislature: war against the poor, war against women, war against minorities, war against public education, and war against the constitutions. He has furthered every partisan effort in the legislature, as well as efforts to make it harder for the people of Arizona to launch successful referenda and petitions. Remarkably, he seems proud of the fact that he and his Republicans in state government mortgaged the people's Senate, House and Executive Buildings rather than close one tax loophole to raise enough revenue to help in areas where help is deperately needed. GIve me Jo Holt over Al Melvin any day of the week and twice on Sundays!

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