Senator Kimberly Yee announced today she will speak at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday, July 18th at approximately 2:30 p.m. EST. Senator Yee is from Phoenix and represents the 20th Legislative District of northwest Phoenix and parts of Glendale. She is Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce and Workforce Development, Vice Chair of the Education Committee and serves on the Committees on Health and Human Services and Finance. She is currently running unopposed for Senate Majority Leader in the 53rd Legislative Session.
Last week, Senator Yee was named among the nation’s 25 Most Influential Women in State Politics by Congressional Quarterly’s Roll Call. GOPAC, the largest Republican state and local political training organization, named Senator Yee one of its 2016 Class of Emerging Leaders, a group of promising legislators selected nationwide for their potential and ability to impact their state and the Republican Party at the leadership level. The RNC has recognized her among their “Rising Stars”.
“It is an honor to be a chosen as a convention speaker. Since a young age, I’ve watched the Republican national convention and to be on the stage on Monday is a perspective I never would have imagined. I look forward to sharing my story and the values I share with the Republican Party,” said Senator Yee.
Conservative lawmaker blazes a trail for Asian-Americans in the GOP
When Kimberly Yee ran for a full term in the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010, political consultants had a few suggestions on how to address her Chinese heritage. One said she should use her husband’s last name —Mar —which somehow seemed less Asian, even though he is also of Chinese descent. Another suggested she drop her last name altogether from campaign signs, which would simply read: “KIMBERLY.” Yee was taken aback. “I said, ‘I’ll find out on election day whether Arizonans are ready for their first Asian-American woman in the legislature,” she said in an interview with Roll Call. The campaign signs had her full name. It turns out Arizonans were ready, and the self-described “family values, fiscal conservative” Republican from Phoenix has since made her mark on a host of issues, including abortion and education, while also digging into the underbelly of state government. In her time in office, she’s butted heads with the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, on appointees that she felt were unqualified.
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This is a summary of major bills and details on the balanced budget put together by the Majority at the Arizona Legislature.
Accomplishments of 52nd Leg 5 26 16
Proposition 124 sailed to easy victory Tuesday amid widespread support from firefighters, police officers and politicians who touted it as a way to improve the financially challenged Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.
Early returns from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office showed the measure leading by an insurmountable margin in virtually every Arizona county. A large portion of early returns were mail-in ballots that were counted before polls closed at 7 p.m.
“I am just so proud of Arizona firefighters and police officers,” said Bryan Jeffries, president of the 7,000-member Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona. He predicted Prop. 124 would put the pension system back on the road to financial health.
State Sen. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, who engineered placement of the measure on the ballot, said supporters overcame long odds to achieve consensus and win passage.
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“I am pleased that the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona State Board of Education have announced they have resolved the dispute over their duties and the ongoing litigation is coming to an end. I have always maintained that these two agencies need to find a legislative solution, rather than fighting it out in the courts. It is within the Legislature’s constitutional authority to clarify roles, and this agreement will allow that.
I wish to thank Education Committee Chair Senator Sylvia Allen for being a champion on this issue and pushing the parties to come to a solution. I am also grateful for Senator Jeff Dial for the initiative to take on this critical issue, keeping the conversation alive and working with the two parties to come to a compromise. Both Senators knew the Senate’s bill was constitutional and the best answer to resolve the standoff.
Superintendent Douglas and Governor Ducey have shown strong leadership during this disagreement, and I thank the Superintendent for working with legislators to find a legislative solution.
Now it is time for these agencies to leave the courts behind and get to work for the students of Arizona.”
Senator Sylvia Allen today urged local school leaders and administrators to work with parents, be respectful and not retaliate against a student for choices that parents may make.
It is that time of year again when Arizona schools are administering the statewide assessment to our students, also known as AzMERIT. Unfortunately, another legislative session is coming to an end where a parent’s right to make educational decisions for their children are not being recognized in our state laws. Senator Allen sponsored SB 1455, which would have allowed parents to opt their children out of the AzMERIT assessment. This year Congress reauthorized the federal education law that gave states the flexibility to develop their own opt-out policies, but Senator Allen was unable to get it through the legislative process this session.
Senator Allen explained, “It is a core belief of mine that a parent’s rights come from God and not the government. Some parents have legitimate concerns about the increased pressure of high-stakes testing and the impact it is having on their children. There is conflict in the law and our values, which is causing confusion and distress and putting schools in unnecessary battle with parents. I will continue to fight for parental rights in directing their child’s education next legislative session.”
Senator Allen continued, “The absence of a law that recognizes a parent’s right to opt-out of statewide testing will not keep parents from making these important choices on behalf of their students. Some are making the choice to opt-out of AzMERIT and I have heard testimonials that some schools are working with parents with grace and dignity, while I have heard that other schools are bullying and utilizing scare tactics. I am urging our schools to work with parents, seek to understand and treat them with the respect and the dignity they deserve.”