Gov. Ducey arms Arizona National Guard

Governor Doug Ducey today issued an executive order directing the Adjutant General to take actions to enhance and strengthen the safety and security of Arizona National Guard personnel.

The governor’s order, a response to the recent attacks on military recruitment and readiness centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, authorizes Major General Michael McGuire to:

A. Identify and arm of all appropriately-trained National Guard personnel who he determines reasonably necessary, based upon their duty positions, responsibilities, or locations, to protect themselves and other persons from the threat of deadly physical force;

B. Institute a policy and training requirements that permit Guardsmen to carry personally-owned handguns while on duty at a secured facility or military instillation, in lieu of a government-issued handgun, as specified by the Adjutant General. This policy should allow Guard personnel to carry these handguns on unsecured facilities while on duty if a government-issued handgun is not reasonably accessible.

C. Consult with the Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety to review the security measures and protocols in place at Arizona National Guard facilities, including without limitation recruiting offices, and make any recommendations necessary to further protect Soldiers, Airmen, and the public against attacks on military personnel.

“What happened in Chattanooga was shocking and saddening, and it took the lives of five American servicemen,” said Governor Ducey. “With the number of tragic shootings that have occurred on military installations in recent years, it’s imperative that our soldiers and airmen – people who put their lives on the line every day to protect our state and nation – have at least the same level of self-defense as the citizens they’re fighting for. We’re committed to doing whatever is reasonably necessary to ensure the safety and security of these men and women, and of all Arizonans.”

“The safety and security of our Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees is our highest priority,” said Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the Adjutant General, Arizona National Guard. “We are developing a plan that fulfills Governor Ducey’s executive order and best protects our service members and our fellow Arizonans.”

At least eight other governors have issued a similar order, with several others ramping up efforts to increase the safety and security of military personnel in their states.

The complete executive order can be viewed, here.

State Leaders Put Planned Parenthood on Notice

In light of recent allegations of unlawful practices and procedures being performed by Planned Parenthood, Governor Doug Ducey today directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to conduct a thorough review of current law and immediately promulgate emergency rules designed to prohibit the illegal sale of any tissue from an unborn child. The governor also issued this statement:

“The footage released by The Center for Medical Progress regarding the alleged sale and trafficking of aborted fetal tissue and body parts by Planned Parenthood is horrifying and has no place in a civilized society.  I am calling on the Department of Health Services to conduct a thorough review of the law and immediately promulgate emergency rules designed to prohibit the illegal sale of any tissue from an unborn child.  This is consistent with federal law and will deter action that we all agree is abhorrent.  Further, I have instructed ADHS to provide any and all assistance required to Attorney General Brnovich in any efforts conducted by his office.”

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Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod lauded the governor and attorney general for their swift responses:

“Today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich both publicly responded to the shocking undercover video exposing the horrifying practices of the country’s largest abortion provider.

The video, released last week, captures Planned Parenthood’s senior medical director discussing how their doctors can manipulate an abortion in order to preserve vital organs of preborn children for medical experimentation and possibly sale. Troublingly, the state of Arizona is referenced multiple times in the unedited version of the video as a potential state in which to carry out these abhorrent transactions.

We appreciate and are thankful for Governor Ducey and Attorney General Brnovich taking steps to protect preborn children and ensure baby tissue is not a commodity for sale in our state.”

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AG Mark Brnovich said:

“Like many others I was deeply disturbed by a recently released video that may show a Planned Parenthood executive discussing profiteering on the sale of tissue from aborted children.  As prosecutors, it is critical for this office not to rush to immediate judgment or determinations before facts can be established.  While we cannot comment on the status of any possible investigation, this type of allegation is something we take very seriously.”

State Senator Farnsworth Wins Goldwater Legislator of Year Award

By Tom Jenney, President of American For Prosperity-Arizona

Arizona State Senator David Farnsworth is the highest-scoring legislator on this year’s Americans For Prosperity-Arizona’s 2015 Legislative Scorecard, and will receive AFP-Arizona’s Barry M. Goldwater Legislator of the Year Award.

The scorecard assigns weights to over 300 bills according to their projected dollar impact to Arizona taxpayers, consumers and producers, with $1 million equaling one point on the scorecard. AFP-Arizona’s 2015 Legislative Scorecard assigns the heaviest weight to the budget bill crafted by Governor Doug Ducey and legislative leaders.

The budget passed March 7 is in many ways the most fiscally conservative state budget we’ve seen in at least two decades. By making over $300 million in spending reductions, Gov. Ducey and the legislators who voted for the budget have put the state on track to achieve a structurally balanced budget by 2017, so that government will be made to live within its means – just like our families and small businesses do.

Perhaps most importantly, the budget is designed to eliminate administrative waste in school districts and focus more money into our classrooms to help teachers and students boost academic achievement.

First-year Governor Ducey earned the designation of “Friend of the Taxpayer” on the 2015 Scorecard – the first time a governor has earned a good rating from the group since the Arizona chapter of AFP launched in 2007.

Also heavily weighted on the Scorecard are bills that will bar state agencies from using personnel or resources to enforce ObamaCare, attempt to reform abuses in the state’s Medicaid program, put roadblocks in front of the EPA’s efforts to hurt affordable energy generation in Arizona, expand school choice scholarships for children, remove burdensome regulations on ridesharing services, abolish the state’s “Inflation Tax,” and allow patients to order lab tests directly without having to have them prescribed by physicians. As it has done in past years, AFP-Arizona also grades legislators and the governor on missed opportunities: important reform bills that are prevented from reaching floor votes in the House or Senate.

Of course, many special interest groups are not happy with this year’s budget and legislative session:

  • The school district bureaucrats who steal money from the students and front-line teachers in our classrooms hate the fact that the budget reduces spending on administrative bureaucracy – even though the budget provides a net increase in K-12 classroom spending. The bureaucrats don’t want you to know that our school system in Arizona already spends over $9,400 per student each year, or that there has been a nearly 20-percent increase in general fund spending in K-12 since 2010. Your school district officials also don’t want you to know that on average they have routinely failed to put more than 53 percent of available dollars into classrooms (and even that figure is inflated).
  • The educrats who waste taxpayer money and student tuition dollars at our community colleges and universities are screaming about the $100 million in reductions to higher education budgets – even though the cuts reduce total university revenue by only two percent.
  • The corporate crony capitalists are going to miss the $75 million that has been taken away from the Arizona Commerce Authority’s corporate-welfare slush fund.

In the coming months, the big spenders will continue to wail and moan and spread false information to you and your neighbors. And some of your neighbors will complain to their elected officials. That is yet another reason why you need to thank your elected officials for supporting the responsible budget.

Hero of the Taxpayer Award Winners

Sen. David Farnsworth, Score: 93

Sen. Judy Burges, 93

Sen. Sylvia Allen, 92

Sen. Steve Smith, 91

Rep. Warren Petersen, 91

Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, 91

Rep. Steve Montenegro, 90

Rep. Anthony Kern, 90

Rep. Darin Mitchell, 90

Sen. Debbie Lesko, 90

All the top 10 lawmakers are Republicans. Not a single Democrat earned anything remotely close to a “friend of the taxpayer” honor. Virtually every Democrat in the legislature ranked as “Needs Improvement,” “Friend of Big Government,” or “Champion of Big Government.”

State Sen. Bob Worsley is one of the least friendly Republicans to taxpayers and ranks cumulatively as a “Friend of Big Government,” though he did better this year.