the veridus weekly

03-29-2019

days of session: 75

Regular sessions shall be adjourned sine die no later than Saturday of the week in which the one hundredth day from the beginning of each regular session falls. The President and Speaker of the House may by declaration authorize the extension of the session for a period of not to exceed seven additional days. Thereafter, the session can be extended only by the Senate and House by a majority vote of the members present in each body. 


in focus


Republicans no longer hold a majority in the Arizona House. For a few days, anyway.

Earlier this week, embattled state Rep. David Stringer (R-Prescott) resigned from office amid a House ethics investigation into decades-old sexual abuse charges, as well as more recent controversial comments he had made regarding race and immigration.

In a statement, Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) said he was “grateful that the House will not be forced to take action against one of our members, and we can begin to put this matter behind us.” But one fewer “R” vote could bring challenges of its own for House Republicans, who were already operating under a wafer-thin 31-29 majority. Since legislation requires 31 votes to pass, a 30-29 split means the Democratic caucus can effectively block any legislation it chooses until a replacement for Rep. Stringer is appointed.

To the extent there is any disruption, it will be short-lived. In accordance with state law, GOP precinct committee members from the district will nominate three finalists for the appointment. On Wednesday, April 3, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to appoint a legislator from among those finalists.

Names on the shortlist for consideration reportedly include former state Sen. Steve Pierce; former Secretary of State Ken Bennett; and former state Rep. Lucy Mason

Some politicos have dubbed Pierce the frontrunner. If appointed, he has indicated he would not seek re-election in 2020.


Report: Arizona ranked No. 3 fastest-growing economy in nation

KTAR

PHOENIX — Arizona’s economy is booming, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data released last week.

“For the third quarter of 2018, which is the most recent state data available, Arizona had the third-highest fastest-growing economy in the U.S.,” Eric Jay Toll, communications manager for the Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

“We had a 4.3 percent growth in gross domestic product. The U.S. average was 3.4 percent.”

The two states ranked above Arizona were Utah at 4.4 percent and Washington at 5.8 percent, he said.

[...] Toll said some of the economic growth came from unusual areas, including financial and business services, health care and manufacturing.

Before the recession, most growth came from construction, real estate and retail sales, he said.

[...] Toll said some people have referred to the Phoenix area as “Wall Street West” because it has the third-highest number of financial services workers in the U.S.

[...] Toll said he expects to see an increase in bioscience and technology jobs as more companies from California look to Arizona.

[...] Read more HERE.

IRS Could Help Taxpayers by Delaying Filing Deadline

Inside Sources

The IRS has had a lot to contend with this filing season. The monthlong government shutdown hampered the agency’s ability to provide a level of service that would be adequate in a normal year, let alone in a year where taxpayers are learning how to benefit from lower tax burdens under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Amid all these issues, Congress, the administration, and the IRS can and should look to extend the filing deadline by a month to May 15.

Even before the shutdown began, there were warning signs that the IRS was not prepared to function at a high level. The software it uses to store taxpayer records is among the oldest in the federal government, and just last year the agency was forced to delay the filing deadline after its tech systems collapsed.

[...] Already, the IRS has recognized the difficulties that taxpayers face by lowering the threshold for taxpayers to suffer a low withholding penalty from 90 percent of tax liability to 80 percent. However, more changes are needed to ensure that the IRS does right by taxpayers. That would mean extending the filing deadline by one calendar month to May 15. Other deadlines occurring in the first four months of the year, such as for partnership returns, should also be delayed by one calendar month.

[...] Read more HERE.

Hot (and cold) takes from Matthew Benson

Chamber Business News

Our favorite PR guru and "noted curmudgeon" Matt Benson was featured on this week’s webisode of Chamber Business News’ series Request to Speak. Watch the video to find out where Matt stands on political endorsements, measles, mumps and more (click image to view video clip).

veridus clients in the news

State and Military Youth of the Years announced at the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Annual Breakfast event in Phoenix

PHOENIX – Iyana L. Jameson and Benjamin Lee Ravert were awarded state Youth of the Year honors at the Annual Breakfast organized by the Arizona Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs and presented by Fiesta Bowl Charities on Tuesday, March 26 at Warehouse 215 in Phoenix.

Jameson, a 17-year-old from the I.G. Homes Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, was named the 2019 Arizona State Youth of the Year. Ravert, a 16-year-old from Davis-Monthan AFB Youth Program, received the 2019 Arizona State Military Youth of the Year top honors.

[...] Selected from a field of nine candidates from Clubs around the state, Jameson and Ravert each were awarded $5,000 in scholarships provided by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and will go on to compete at the regional level in their respective categories. Regional winners will go on to Washington, D.C., for the BGCA National Youth of the Year competition.

[...] All of the candidates previously competed at local levels to represent their home Club and Boys & Girls Club organization before moving on to the state competition. Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year Program is a premier youth development recognition experience celebrating academic success, examples of leadership, and overall Club involvement. Teens prepared three essays, participated in multiple rounds of interviews with a panel of judges and delivered a three-minute speech highlighting their Club experience, vision for America’s youth and their personal brand.

Judging this year’s competition was Ann Smith, Toyota Financial Services; Trisha Smith, Topgolf; and Scott Leightman, Fiesta Bowl.

[...] The Arizona State Youth of the Year Breakfast is one of the many youth focused programs supported by Fiesta Bowl Charities with $2.5 million in charitable donations in the 2018-2019 grant cycle.

Read more HERE

Turo is the Airbnb for car rentals

AZFamily.com

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - "It's a great way to make money, plain and simple," said Damon Crutcher, a Turo app host.

Damon Crutcher is an Army veteran. While deployed in Afghanistan in 2018, he put his Toyota Tacoma on the Turo app.

"To earn money instead of it sitting around doing nothing, the extra money can help pay the payment on it," said Crutcher.

Turo has been in Scottsdale for four years. Starting with just a few employees in a small office, they now have more than 70 and growing the company every month. Scottsdale is the biggest office, but the app has locations in every state except New York.

"We have something for everyone, from your everyday get-around car to electric to even more exotic and classic cars," said John Heath, manager of government relations for Turo.

Cars are listed around the state with the majority of them in the Valley. The website has about 5,000 cars listed in Arizona and the average person can make anywhere from $300 to $600 per month.

[...] The price is set by the person sharing their car. However, Turo executives work with the host to make sure the price point is right for the type of car and the market it is in.

For more information on Turo, click HERE.

Read more HERE.

Legacy Traditional Schools to open charter school in Goodyear

KTAR

PHOENIX – Legacy Traditional Schools announced Tuesday it was expanding into Goodyear.

The charter school network’s 15th Arizona campus will open in the fall on Lower Buckeye Road near Sarival Avenue.

Legacy will move into the 37,000-square-foot facility vacated by the Discovery Creemos Academy, a charter school not affiliated with Legacy that abruptly closed in January 2018.

The new K-6 school will have the capacity to serve 700 students, with more than 25 classrooms and an athletic field, playground and indoor basketball court.

“West Valley families have always been tremendously supportive of Legacy Traditional Schools,” Superintendent Nicole Kirkley said in a press release.

Brittany Kleinow, who has been an assistant principal for Legacy’s campus in Surprise, will be the principal in Goodyear.

“As a Goodyear resident, I am especially proud to be a part of our first-ever Goodyear campus and to help bring an exceptional education and a lifetime love of learning to our community,” Kleinow said in the release.

The new school is currently taking applications online for the 2019-20 school year. Like with all Arizona charter schools, there is no tuition fee.

Legacy plans to have 17 campuses in Arizona and Nevada next year with more than 20,000 students.

Read more HERE.

NEW CIGNA RESEARCH REVEALS MANY AMERICANS ARE MORE STRESSED, LESS RESTED AND SPENDING LESS TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Cigna supports whole person health as key to addressing loneliness and improving overall well-being in America

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., 25 March, 2019 - Global health service company Cigna released results of its annual global 360 well-being survey, Well and Beyond, which found that America is the ninth ranked country for health and well-being. Well and Beyond findings also reveal that more Americans than ever are stressed, particularly about physical, family and workplace wellness, less rested and spending less time with family and friends.

[...] “We’re seeing high incidences of stress, poor sleep quality and less time connecting with loved ones, which all can have a profound impact on one’s physical health. Instead of treating medical conditions after they arise, we want to take a proactive and preventive approach to improve our customers’ total health and well-being,” said Jose Quesada, chief medical officer, international markets at Cigna. “These new actionable insights better enable us to deliver the right tools and supportive resources to surround each individual, treating each person as a whole person, body and mind as one.”

Key Well and Beyond findings show:

More Americans not prioritizing physical health

[...] High incidence of stress across demographics

[...] Americans lacking quality sleep

[...] Time spent with family and friends on the decline

[...] To read the full report, visit 2019 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey - Well and Beyond. The study was conducted online, via a 20-25 minute assessment and based on sample size of 13,200 adults globally, including 1,012 adults in the United States.

For health and wellness tips and resources to help people meet their health goals and better care for loved ones, please visit Helping You Live Your Healthiest Life today.

Read more HERE.

Tucson IDA aids local assisted-living facility

KVOA

TUCSON –Catalina Village, an assisted-living complex, will complete a 17-year project to rehabilitate its 107 residential units thanks to the help of Tucson Industrial Development Authority.

Catalina Village serves senior and low-income residents with special needs.

According to a news release, “in 2000, 2013 and 2017, Tucson IDA issued bonds to purchase the facility, finance the improvement project and help restructure debt incurred when the facility was purchased in 2000.”

“The Tucson Industrial Development Authority is honored to assist Catalina Village,” said Larry Lucero, Tucson IDA’s acting president. “The dedicated staff, counselors and medical experts offer assistance and help increase independence for their residents, providing an invaluable service to our community.”

[...] Read more HERE.

Arizona Teachers Academy offers scholarship to bring more highly qualified teachers to K-12 classrooms

Chamber Business News

TUCSON –Catalina Village, an assisted-living complex, will complete a 17-year project to rehabilitate its 107 residential units thanks to the help of Tucson Industrial Development Authority.

Catalina Village serves senior and low-income residents with special needs.

According to a news release, “in 2000, 2013 and 2017, Tucson IDA issued bonds to purchase the facility, finance the improvement project and help restructure debt incurred when the facility was purchased in 2000.”

“The Tucson Industrial Development Authority is honored to assist Catalina Village,” said Larry Lucero, Tucson IDA’s acting president. “The dedicated staff, counselors and medical experts offer assistance and help increase independence for their residents, providing an invaluable service to our community.”

[...] Read more HERE.

Tucson Electric Power to double its renewable energy output with New Mexico wind project

Arizona Daily Star

Tucson Electric Power is building its biggest renewable-energy project yet — a massive wind farm in southeastern New Mexico that will help the company more than double its generation of renewable energy by 2021.

The planned Oso Grande Wind Project will generate up to 247 megawatts of power, enough to power nearly 100,000 homes, TEP said. Currently, the biggest renewable-energy project TEP owns or buys energy from is the 72-MW Red Horse wind and solar project near Willcox.

Combined with other existing and planned wind and solar projects, Oso Grande will give TEP enough clean energy to power more than two-thirds of Tucson homes. The company has about 425,000 customers.

[...] Read more HERE.

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