State reps discuss plans for 2017 Legislature
KINGMAN – Still riding high from a victorious general election, the Conservative Republican Club of Kingman met Monday to hear three local representatives talk about taxes, water, education and other issues coming up in the state Legislature.
State Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, said she “hit the ground running” at the capital last week and was assigned chairwoman of the Health and Welfare Appropriations Subcommittee.
“Prior to the election, I felt it was just going to go along and be life as it was in the past,” Cobb said at the club’s monthly luncheon at the Dambar restaurant. “Obamacare is being repealed. That means Medicaid goes away. I think we’re going to have a big job in front of us.”
State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, said it’s going to take a while to “wean” Arizona off Obamacare and come up with other solutions.
“They’ve got a lot of contractual obligations they’re going to have to unravel,” he said.
Borrelli, sitting on the Commerce and Public Safety Committee, Government Committee and Finance Committee, said his primary focus is going to be on economic development.
“I’m going to try to cut some government red tape and level out the playing field,” he said.
Education reform is another of Borrelli’s goals. He said local school boards have “surrendered to the education industrial complex,” and need to take back control of their schools.
State Rep. Paul Mosley, who had never run for political office, said he already signed off on two bills. One would raise the tax exemption for handyman work from $1,000 to $2,000, and another would allow up to two non-family employees for a home-based business.
Mosley supports competition in education, giving parents a choice on schools, and sides with President-elect Donald Trump on the controversial issue of allowing Syrian refugees into the United States.
“We talk about threats we have and refugees are one of them. Obviously we have a hard time vetting them. Hopefully that’ll change with the new president,” Mosley said.
Cobb said she’s been meeting with officials and stakeholders on a water bill. She talked about the Arizona Department of Water Resources going around the state with its “dog and pony show” that came to Kingman on Nov. 6.
“We requested an INA (Irrigation Non-expandable Area) and got denied. We’re working on a bill to try to put it back in the hands of the county,” she said. “Maricopa County doesn’t care what we do out here.”
Borrelli said LaPaz and Coconino counties have the same issues, and nobody wants to address taxing the wells being drilled for agricultural purposes.
“La Paz has a Saudi-owned farm growing alfalfa and ships it out. We can’t even hit them with an excise tax,” he said.