The new budget that Governor Ducey released last week calls for more spending on private prisons. In fact, his proposal is to guarantee 95-100% occupancy to a Florida based prison company. This would require that regardless of changes that might happen to reduce prison population, Arizona would have to find people to lock up.
During my first hearing as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I had the opportunity to ask Lorenzo Romero, Governor Ducey's budget director, about private prisons. The Arizona Public Media covered the story.
In an interview with the Yuma Daily Sun, I stated my belief that the city and county of Yuma did not come out ahead during the last session.Read more
Speaker Gowan announced my appointment to the Committee on Appropriations. In that capacity, I will now be on the panel that reviews all spending for our state. The budget, which allocates our spending on schools, prisons, and children's health care, will come before us. I look forward to working with my new colleagues. Additionally, I was named ranking member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, a panel I served on in the last session.Read more
At a summit about education funding, I spoke in favor of helping our schools retain their best teachers, as featured in Arizona Public Media.
“We know it takes a village to raise a child – we already know that – but it is going to take an army to educate them," Fernandez said. "And that’s why we are here tonight to make sure that you are our army.“Read more
Arizona’s general fund can no longer be the “cash cow” for private schools.
For nearly two decades, private school tax credits have existed within a system that lacks transparency and accountability. This has contributed to a growing funding problem facing Arizona’s public schools. At the same time, these private school tax credits are not helping the students they were designed to help. It will take legislative action to correct these issues.
The Arizona State Legislature created these private school tax credits and the organizations that manage them, called student tuition organizations (STO), almost 20 years ago to help financially disadvantaged students and students with special needs have access to more schools.
As mentioned in the Arizona Daily Star article below, I opposed the legislature effort to pass mandated laws about plasitic bags to Arizona cities.
“It’s about local control,” she said, with council members answering to the people who elected them.Read more
This is the full debate from 2014, my opponent has decided to run again in 2016.