It was a win for (most) school districts across the Valley this week, as voters in Maricopa County approved all but a handful of education funding requests on Tuesday’s ballot. But what does the success of these local bonds and overrides – which in some cases passed by a two-to-one margin – say about the prospects for a statewide K-12 tax initiative likely in 2020? That’s hard to say.
The coalition behind last year’s “Invest in Ed” initiative appears to be making a comeback as it considers a revamped ballot effort to increase school funding, this time through a mixture of income and sales tax hikes.
Traditionally, local bonds and overrides have fared better among Arizona voters than sweeping statewide tax increases for education funding. Recall that, in 2012, voters overwhelmingly rejected Prop 204, a ballot proposal that sought to permanently increase the state sales tax by a penny. The measure failed decisively, with just 35 percent of Arizonans voting in support.
Arizona history suggests tax initiatives of any kind face a dicey future if they are opposed by the sitting Governor, as was the case with the last two ill-fated K-12 initiatives sought in 2012 and 2018. Could Governor Ducey be wooed to support or remain neutral on a revamped Invest in Ed 2.0? It’s wise to remember the clear, bright line he drew regarding tax increases as part of his initial State of the State address in January 2015: “Not on our watch.”
Veridus Clients in the news
TUCSON – Local veteran, current service members, first responders and their families were honored during the Legacy Traditional School-Northwest Tucson Veterans Day Breakfast on Friday.
Veterans were honored during the school’s daily flag ceremony.
Legacy students and staff also organized a special breakfast for veterans and their families.
Students also recited a poem called Thank You, Soldiers by Michael and Angela Souders during the ceremony.
NORWALK, Conn., Nov. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In an early celebration of Veteran’s Day, Diageo hosted its fourth annual Military Service Appreciation Day, bringing together employees, non-profit partners and community members to show appreciation for those serving in the military. As part of the celebration and to support Crown Royal’s Purple Bag Project, hundreds of employees across Diageo’s sites in Miami, Florida; New York City, New York; Norwalk, Connecticut; Plainfield, Illinois; and Relay, Maryland came together to assemble 12,000 care packages for American troops serving in the armed forces.
[…] As with previous years, Diageo has partnered with non-profit organizations such as Packages from Home, an organization that works with outreach experts to deliver food and hygiene items to U.S. military veterans; iPads for Soldiers, an organization that provides iPads to soldiers in battle and wounded warriors as morale boosters and key elements in the recovery process; and Operation Gratitude, a charitable organization with the mission to forge strong bonds between Americans, military and their First Responder heroes through volunteer projects and acts of gratitude and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide.
The packages assembled will contribute to the Crown Royal’s Purple Bag Project, which is the brand’s largest generosity commitment to-date and aims to distribute one million care packages to military and others in need by 2020.
[…] To learn more about Diageo’s work, including its company values, and brands with purpose, visit www.diageo.com.
BLOOMFIELD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Cigna Foundation announced it will give a $100,000 grant to Veterans Recovery Resources, a community-based, non-profit organization that offers professional clinical care and peer-based wellness programs to military service members, veterans, families, caregivers and survivors in southwest Alabama and surrounding areas.
The Cigna Foundation grant will fund additional peer support specialists, who provide collaborative care beyond clinical services to fellow veterans on their recovery journey. The peer support specialists, who are veterans themselves, are uniquely equipped to offer practical skills, knowledge and assistance as well as empathy and hope.
[…] Veterans Recovery Resources offers a continuum of clinically-based medical and behavioral services, peer support programming and community integration activities to provide a veteran-centered, holistic and phase-based approach to substance abuse and mental wellness.
[…] Earlier this year, Cigna and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a partnership to help educate veterans about safe opioid use and improve the delivery of care and health outcomes for veterans; and Cigna’s free Veterans Support Line (855-244-6211) is available to all veterans, families, and caregivers with services and resources for pain management, substance use counseling and treatment, and more.
Recognized by Military Times in their 2019 “Best for Vets” list, Cigna has consistently supported veterans and military families through hiring initiatives and providing them with an environment for success. Salute, a Cigna enterprise resource group, which is employee-led and backed by executive leadership, offers an open forum, support, and programming for employees who serve or have served in the military, their families, and those that support our veterans.
Across the country on this Veterans Day, Cigna will honor its 2,500 employees who are veterans, as well as veterans in our communities. Events, many planned by Salute members, include free health screenings for service members, veterans and their families in Dallas and San Diego; local veteran job fairs in Denison and Houston, Texas; and supporting a local Veterans Day parade in Phoenix.
TUCSON, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UNS Energy’s Board of Directors has named Susan M. Gray as President of UNS Energy, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and UniSource Energy Services effective Jan. 1, 2020, placing her at the forefront of a newly expanded leadership team under CEO David G. Hutchens.
[…] Gray, 47, began her TEP career 25 years ago as a student intern. She was hired as a system engineer in 1997 and advanced through several engineering and leadership roles before being named Vice President of Energy Delivery in 2015. She was promoted to Senior Vice President last year and named Chief Operating Officer – a title she will retain.
Gray earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s of business administration degree from the University of Arizona.
[…] Hutchens, UNS Energy’s current president, will relinquish that title when Gray’s appointment takes effect. He will remain CEO, the company’s top leadership position, and also will continue serving as Executive Vice President of Western Utility Operations for Fortis Inc., UNS Energy’s parent company. […]
RESTON, Va. — November 5, 2019 — Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, today announced that it has been ranked the largest cybersecurity company in the D.C Metro area by the Washington Business Journal for the second year in a row. Rankings are based on companies’ total revenue for the previous fiscal year.
Carahsoft is ranked #1 on this year’s list, posting over $1.3 billion in revenue for its cybersecurity solutions in 2018 and more than 250 cyber-focused employees in its Reston office. The company’s security portfolio includes Palo Alto Networks, Forescout, FireEye, Splunk, McAfee, Gigamon and Okta, in addition to over 50 emerging cyber vendors and more than 800 reseller partners and system integrators who support Carahsoft’s public sector customers.
[…] Since its founding in 2004, Carahsoft has provided the public sector market with IT solutions from hundreds of technology vendors, prime contractors, system integrators, value-added resellers and additional channel partners. In 2018, the company booked more than $5 billion in sales and expanded its team to include more than 1,000 sales, marketing, customer service and contracting professionals.
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In other news …
Tucson voters have elected their first Latina to serve as mayor.
Three-term Councilwoman Regina Romero, who takes office next month, is the first woman to hold the city’s top elected job and will be the second Hispanic to be elected mayor of Tucson since the Gadsden Purchase. She will succeed Mayor Jonathan Rothschild as the city’s leader.
Romero defeated independent Ed Ackerley and Green Party candidate Mike Cease by a comfortable margin with roughly 87,000 ballots cast.
[…] Romero, the director of Latino engagement for the Center for Biological Diversity, was one of four Democrats elected Tuesday night to the Tucson City Council.
[…] On Tuesday night, Romero said her victory was a validation of her vision for Tucson.
“At a time when our national politics have been sown with division, Tucsonans remain united by our shared desire to promote a safe, just and sustainable city that provides economic opportunity for our families and future generations. This movement is open to everyone — whatever your background, whatever your party, whoever you voted for — let’s work together! We will always be one Tucson — somos uno,” Romero said. […]
Arizona Capitol Times
Calling the current system biased, national Democrats have filed suit to void a state law they say gives Republicans an edge in general elections.
Legal papers filed Friday in federal court here say it’s unfair – and illegal – to have candidates on the general election ballot listed in an order based on how well the governor did in that county in the last election. What that will mean in 2020 is that Republicans will be listed ahead of Democrats in 11 of the state’s 15 counties.
[…] The lawyers say this is more than an academic question and research shows there is a tendency of voters, all else being equal, to choose the first candidate on a list.
What makes that significant, according to the lawsuit, is there will be a highly competitive race for the U.S. Senate, with Republican Martha McSally seeking to hold on to the seat to which she was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey despite losing a 2018 Senate bid. That seat used to belong to John McCain.
The lawyers say that the 11 counties where Republicans will get that edge represent more than 80 percent of the total state population. And that factor could give McSally an edge over likely Democrat foe Mark Kelly.
All nine seats in the U.S. House also are up for grabs, as are the 30 slots in the state Senate and 60 in the state House.
[…] Similar lawsuits were filed Friday in Texas and Georgia over the laws in those states that the Democrats say puts them at a disadvantage.
Federal regulators are expected to announce a ban on electronic cigarette flavors other than tobacco and menthol within days, although it’s unclear if mint flavors will be allowed or reformulated as menthol.
Another possible exemption could be vaping products sold in vape stores rather than convenience stores, which is where the under-aged youth who are the focus of the ban often shop.
In March, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb proposed banning flavors other than tobacco in convenience stores, but said more would have to be done if youth vaping rates continued to rise. He said this week e-cigarette company Juul could rename its mass produced mint flavor menthol, but noted the company is facing so much scrutiny it might decline to do so.
On Wednesday, White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway suggested regulators don’t have authority over vape stores. Gottlieb had no comment on Conway’s statement, but a group of medical and advocacy groups condemned such an exemption.
[…] President Trump announced in September flavors other than tobacco would be banned, prompting a torrent of lobbying from pro-vaping groups and users. As the Administration appeared to soften on an outright ban, opponents of vaping also stepped up their vocal opposition to such a move.
The action comes amid a nationwide outbreak of more than 1,600 cases of vaping-related lung injuries resulting in at least 34 deaths. Vaping products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, account for the vast majority of cases. […]