Rick Murphy - State Representative - Arizona District 9

 
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Major Accomplishments

These two bills, in particular, are both high-impact bills that will 
positively affect the state for years to come.  Either one of them 
would be considered career-defining by most legislators.

2007 - Municipal Sales Tax Incentive; Penalty

HB2515 - The legislature finally passed a bill to strongly discourage cities from giving multi-million dollar tax giveaways to favored companies and developers.  This practice had gotten way out-of-hand in recent years.  I think we've seen the last of the $100 million "incentives" for things like parking garages.  This common-sense measure passed with rarely-seen strong bi-partisan efforts, led by Sen. Ken Cheuvront (D-Phx) and myself.  Sen. Cheuvront and I have fought to pass this bill for years.  Despite Herculean efforts by certain developers and a few cities to kill the bill again, our persistence finally paid off.

Sen. Cheuvront and I disagree, often strongly, on about 80% of the issues.  But in this case, bi-partisan cooperation was the key to victory.

2006 - Displaced Pupils Choice Grant

SB1164 - After much negotiation and compromise, I was able to get the votes to pass the first new school choice program in the United States that would be signed by a Democrat governor.  Not only does this program give foster children a better chance to succeed, it actually costs the state less than sending them to a traditional public school.  The Displaced Pupils Choice Grant provides up to $5,000 to send any child who is or has been in the state foster care system to any school of the parent or guardian's choosing.  Many children who have been in foster care have a wide variety of educational challenges as a result of the abuse, neglect and/or instability they have experienced.  Often, even in the best school districts, these children have such unique special needs that they don't get the individualized attention they need to catch up with their peers.

Foster children currently graduate high school and attend college at approximately half the rate of the general population.  Despite all of this, the teachers' unions will stop at nothing to block this and any other idea that takes even one child out of government schools, because it might mean fewer union teachers are needed by districts.  Apparently, it isn't always "about the children," after all.

This bill was groundbreaking on a national scale and set the stage for similar bills in several states around the country.

 

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