Arizona Republican legislative leaders respond to Gov. Katie Hobbs’ speech

Jan 10, 2023, 10:22 AM | Updated: 10:44 am

PHOENIX – Arizona Republican legislative leaders issued their response to Gov. Katie Hobbs’ State of the State address Monday, criticizing the Democrat on several issues.

The GOP message was delivered by Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borelli and House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci in a 3½-minute video posted to social media.

The Republican lawmakers said they wanted more from Hobbs on how to deal with inflation, and they proposed eliminating food and rental taxes.

They also promised that schools will get all the funding that’s been allocated to them by the Legislature, but “we will not rush the process.”

Here is a full transcript of the Republican response:

Borelli: Like many of you, we just listened to the governor’s State of the State address. I listened as a veteran who proudly served this country as well as a father. Majority Leader Biasiucci here, he’s a new dad and a small business owner. We both greatly are concerned by some of the big issues our state is facing.

Biasiucci: You know inflation from reckless policies at the federal level are crippling hardworking families and business owners. Not once did we hear Gov. Hobbs mention the reality of the dire situation many of our citizens are finding themselves in as they live paycheck to paycheck. A narrow proposal to cut sales tax on diapers and hygiene items alone will not solve the historic inflation families are dealing with today. We must now have broad-based relief from rising prices.

That’s why we’re proposing to reduce costs for citizens by eliminating the food tax and the rental tax. You should not have to struggle to pay for the most basic items.

We will also work to increase the housing supply by cutting all the red tape that is associated with the lengthy developmental approval process. This will allow for a greater supply of homes, which will translate to lower prices to rent or own your own home.

Borelli: We will also work to reduce or eliminate occupational license fees. These initiatives combined will allow our taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. Local and state governments have a surplus of funds to allow this relief to continue for a couple of years, and this will not harm public safety funding at all, as many have used this as a scare tactic in the past.

Biasiucci: You know in 2017 and ’18, both the Senate and House Republicans voted in support of a 20% teacher raise by 2020. Unfortunately, when Gov. Hobbs served as a senator, she voted against paying our teachers. Last year, both the Senate and the House Republicans voted in support of historic increases to K-12 educational resources, which included $1 billion in new funding.

Because of all the money Republicans have pumped into Arizona schools, we’ve hit the cap on the Aggregate Expenditure Limit that the voters approved. Hear us now: Schools will not lose out on the money we’ve allocated for them. We will address this. But, we will not rush the process.

We also think it’s only right that Arizona students have the same choice that Gov. Hobbs had attending a private school, which she credits for helping her build a better life.

Borelli: You heard from Gov. Hobbs. She does not want a policy discussion, but a hasty action for political points. Our Founding Fathers set up the legislative process that works. It’s thoughtful. It’s deliberative. It allows for a maximum input. We will not be sidetracked, get sidetracked or bullied for political games. It is divinely inspired by our Founding Fathers. We will stick to the mission.

Biasiucci: You know our end goal must be to ensure that we are serving the public good and involving the participation of all citizens. We are ready and willing to work on solutions that are important to the constituents that elected us into office, but we will not rubber stamp a budget that includes more reckless spending like the federal government has done.

Thank you. God bless.

Borelli: Improve your net, hire a vet.

We want to hear from you.

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Arizona Republican legislative leaders respond to Gov. Katie Hobbs’ speech