Freshman US Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona introduces her first bill

Jun 28, 2018, 11:41 AM

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko introduced a bill Thursday that would give states more say in their education plans, her first proposed legislation since Arizona voters sent her to Congress earlier this year.

“I’m keeping my campaign promise of trying to improve education in our state and throughout the nation,” the Republican told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The Make Education Local Act of 2018 would allow states to submit individualized plans for how to use federal funding instead of having the federal government dictate how the money is used.

“Basically, it allows the states to decide what policy they’re going to have … and allows the states to decide how the federal funding should be spent,” she said.

Lesko said the bill would “make things simpler so that they (schools) can can save money on the teachers and the classrooms and the students instead of spending a bunch of time and effort and lawyers on federal bureaucracy.”

Cosponsors of H.R. 6259 included all of Arizona’s GOP delegation, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Martha McSally and David Schweikert.

Lesko couldn’t give a timeline on when a vote might be taken.

“I just dropped the bill today,” she said. “It’s my first bill, and I’m looking for great results.”

Lesko was sworn into office on May 7 after District 8 voters gave her the nod over Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni in the April 24 special election to replace Trent Franks.

Franks resigned in December after allegedly discussing surrogacy with at least two staffers. A former aide told The Associated Press that he pressed her to carry his child as a surrogate and offered her $5 million.

Lesko is expected to face Tipirneni again in November’s midterm election. Tipirneni is running unopposed in August’s Democratic primary, and Lesko has one GOP challenger, former Maricopa County School Superintendent Sandra Dowling.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

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Freshman US Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona introduces her first bill