GOP responds to State of the State
House Speaker Ben Toma of District 27 (R) and Senate President Warren Petersen of District 14 (R) joined us to discuss their response to Governor Hobbs’ State of the State.
Beginning the analysis, Toma and Petersen explain their reasoning for opening the State of the State with their “mini speeches.”
“In my opinion, I don’t think there is anything at all inappropriate about making clear that we have a different vision,” Toma said. “Including the school choice bill and some of those other items we touched on. So we felt that it was important to make it very clear that we have a different vision.”
Toma and Peterson opened the discussion by stating they were glad that Hobbs stated in her speech that she intends the Arizona-Mexico border in the near future.
“It’s good to hear that she wants to secure the border,” Petersen said. “But her actions have not matched her words. Last session she vetoed three bills that would have helped us at the border.”
Toma and Petersen hope to get a deal done with the governor and find a solution for the border.
They also reacted to Hobbs’ call to the legislature to take action on the water loopholes. Threatening to take action on her own if needed.
“Arizona has 7.5 million people right now,” Petersen said. “And we’re using the same amount of water when we had 1.5 people.”
Petersen and Toma believe that the state can grow and conserve water simultaneously regardless of whether housing or businesses are being built.
Regarding ESA programs in the state, they believe there is breathing room between the legislature and the governor. However, some understanding and transparency are still missing regarding ESAs.
“An ESA costs $7,000 approximately, and to educate a child in a public school, it’s about $13,000,” Petersen said. “To the taxpayer, it’s a huge tax savings.”
Toma added to Petersen’s comment to say that they are more concerned with the cost to that taxpayer than the cost to the state.