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A spirit of service — a session of success


It was a session that for all of the challenges and uncertainties included major results for Arizonans. Results that will have a lasting benefit for years to come, and that recognize the “spirit of service” is alive in our classrooms, military installations, neighborhoods, and really, all around us.

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School funding increases were long overdue

capitol dome 620

The FY19 budget is the first payment to settle a tab that was due years ago. As education advocates, we are now faced with protecting these from Arizona’s favorite political pastime — finding ways to give away revenue. Together, we must continue to do what is right for all kids in Arizona.

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Like perfect pie, preparation crucial to successful grassroots effort

(Photo by Carmen Forman/Arizona Capitol Times)

Solutions require a lot of different minds addressing the problem for a lot of different reasons. Recognize when you’re facing a “golden moment”–a time and place where everyone wants to see the same outcome, even if they weren’t working for the exact same reasons or in the exact same way. If the problem is addressed, recognize that as a win. You don’t all have to attend the same victory party, but you may end up inviting more new friends than you ever imagined.

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Commercial real estate industry secures major wins in 2018 session

Rolled newspaper with the headline Changes in legislation

The biggest victory was a grand compromise on GPLET (Government Property Lease Excise Tax) reform. A unanimous deal was struck between developers, cities and tax watchdogs on the long-term retention of the 8-year property tax abatement and narrowing the application in the future to a capped land mass contained in a central business district (CBD) within a city. HB2126 passed virtually unanimously and was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey on April 17. The Arizona Multihousing Association, a key coalition partner with CRE, also played an instrumental role in advancing the compromise by proposing land mass percentage boundaries for a CBD, rather than dwelling on subjective “slum” and “blight” definitions in the eyes of the beholder.

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Congressman Gosar wrong on immigration – he’s no John Adams

That access to counsel is one of the hallmarks of a free country. John Adams, before he was president, became a target for ridicule after he defended British soldiers charged in connection with the Boston Massacre. He knew that the rule of law would be a farce if people facing serious government action couldn’t have counsel. He lost half his clients and endured popular scorn to do the right thing. John Adams was a patriot.

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Raytheon’s high-tech, high-wage jobs have positive effect on economy


n May 10, Gov. Doug Ducey and I, along with several state and local leaders, formally dedicated the first of several new buildings in a major expansion of Ray-theon facilities in Tucson. Our ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in front of new structures that will house many of the 2,000 new employees the company is hiring to support business growth. These high-tech, high-wage jobs will have a positive impact on the state’s economy. The project will modernize and grow Raytheon’s missile-making operations. Our expansion supports the nation’s military, the security of America’s allies and the U.S., state and local economies. We are a global company that partners worldwide to deliver the best possible solutions. The 559,000-square-foot expansion will include an advanced testing facility, a multi-purpose building, a customer access center and several additional build-ings, as well as infrastructure upgrades such as new laboratories and testing facilities, engineering and manufacturing enhancements, and high-powered compu-ting capability. It is planned for completion in 2020. Raytheon Missile Systems designs, engineers, tests and manufactures some of the most advanced aerospace and defense technologies of today and the fu-ture, including missile defense systems, hypersonic missiles and space vehicles. Our employees are working every day to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the U.S. Department of Defense and our nation’s allies. We used our advanced immersive design center to design and create models of the new buildings before any concrete was poured. The 3-D modeling pro-vided a more accurate blueprint for construction than conventional techniques. Raytheon Missile Systems is southern Arizona’s largest private employer, with an annual statewide economic impact of more than $2.1 billion. We have more than 500 suppliers around the state and a workforce of nearly 12,000 people. Chances are you know someone in Arizona that has a direct or indirect connection to Raytheon. Besides our strong economic and business impact, I’m extremely proud of our corporate citizenship. Raytheon employees volunteer thousands of hours annu-ally, tutoring school children in Arizona classrooms. Subjects such as algebra and calculus can be difficult for many young people. Our engineers use them every day on the job, and can often explain the concepts in an easy-to-understand way. Each year, we partner with the University of Arizona to host a MathMovesU Day. The event draws hundreds of high school students, who spend the day build-ing telescopes and learning about cool careers using math and science. In the last decade, Raytheon has invested millions of dollars promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in Arizona and around the nation. We support our nation’s military on and off the battlefield. By teaming with Student Veterans of America, Raytheon helps veterans in our state with career counseling, showing them how their military service can translate to a career in corporate America. We also serve as a major sponsor of the NFL’s Arizona Cardi-nals’ “Salute to Service” home football game on or around Veterans Day. And we partner with the nonprofit No Barriers organization to sponsor a wilderness ex-pedition that helps wounded vets in Arizona and other parts of the country rebuild their lives. Raytheon Missile Systems is proud to call Arizona home. We’ve helped to make the world a safer place for more than 60 years. Cutting the ribbon to expand our Arizona footprint is a win not only for southern Arizona, but also for the entire state and this great nation.

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It’s imperative: Prepare students for tomorrow’s jobs today


For Arizona, investing in computer science education is more than an economic imperative. It is an opportunity imperative. And our legislators can now seize that opportunity to build critical capacity among our educators and new career pathways for our students. Together, we can ensure that our students are prepared for success today and the jobs of tomorrow.

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