All eyes should be on Arizona’s upcoming legislative session. For the first time since 1964, voters have elected a State House that’s almost evenly split: 31 Republicans and 29 Democrats.
This is welcoming news for the party I belong to, but I’m taking it as a wake-up call for my colleagues to get serious about meaningful legislation that will govern our state.
Arizona’s economy is booming, our state surplus is larger than any analyst could have predicted, and yet we still face challenges to ensure that our most vulnerable communities have opportunities to thrive, and to prosper.
Working together will be paramount to writing the next, bright chapter of our state’s story.
Our legislature must restore funding to our K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities.
We must seek common ground on environmentally-sound water policy that is a model for western states experiencing shortfalls.
We must prioritize a living wage for all, and we must guarantee access to health care as a core Arizona value, no matter which zip code you live in.
Finally, we must tackle our state’s crumbling transportation and infrastructure shortfalls as an opportunity to create high-paying jobs that will foster continued economic growth.
There is nothing about these priorities or ideas that is uniquely Democratic or Republican.
The voters, whom every incoming member of the Legislature encountered at their doors over the last year, definitely don’t see these issues in terms of party or ideology — they just want them addressed.
It’s time legislators find common ground to build a prosperous state for all Arizonans. Let’s get to work.