About: Publications


5 Minutes for Families

  1. Marriage at the Supreme Court Emily Charles 24-Apr-2015
  2. Courage to Stand Emily Charles 17-Apr-2015
  3. It's a Wrap Info AZ Policy 10-Apr-2015
  4. Courage wins out Aaron Baer 27-Mar-2015
  5. The end is near…What a week Emily Charles 20-Mar-2015

Action Alerts

  1. Arizona Churches Need Your Voice! Emily Charles 03-Mar-2015
  2. It's Time to Vote! Emily Charles 04-Nov-2014
  3. Mail in your early ballot TODAY! Emily Charles 29-Oct-2014
  4. It's Time to Vote! Emily Charles 26-Aug-2014
  5. ACTION ALERT: Mail in your early ballot TODAY! Emily Charles 19-Aug-2014

Breaking News

  1. Governor Ducey Signs Pro-Life Legislation! Aaron Baer 30-Mar-2015
  2. Governor Ducey signs legislation to help churches Aaron Baer 23-Mar-2015
  3. Poll Finds Majority Support for Religious Freedom and Voter-Approved Definition of Marriage Emily Charles 26-Feb-2015
  4. How did they vote? Emily Charles 13-May-2014
  5. Find the Facts: CAP Reboots The Policy Pages with Interactive Website Aaron Baer 29-Jan-2014

Marriage at the Supreme Court

Friday, April 24, 2015

Marriage at the Supreme Court

This feels like déjà vu.

In 2013, the country watched as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8.

Subsequently, the Court struck down part of DOMA in its Windsor decision, but chose to kick the can down the road on the Proposition 8 case, opting to not decide the ultimate issue of whether defining marriage should be left to the states.

Yet, in a matter of two years, we have seen court after court – not votes of the people – redefining marriage across the country. Before federal judges began this barrage, 30 states had defined marriage in their constitutions as only the union of one man and one woman. Today, activist courts have forced the redefinition of marriage upon 26 states, state legislatures have redefined marriage in 8 states, and only three states have actually had a vote of the people redefine this essential and sacred union.

We are now at that point when the Supreme Court will decide whether or not states can continue upholding marriage as between a man and a woman. This coming Tuesday, April 28, the Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges – consolidated cases from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky – and ultimately have to answer this question.

For numerous reasons, the Supreme Court should leave voters free to affirm marriage between one man and one woman. A recent poll shows that 61% of voters agree that states and citizens should remain free to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman and the Supreme Court should not force all 50 states to redefine marriage. The U.S. Constitution is silent on the definition of marriage. Nine unelected judges should not be the only people whose voices count.

The public importance of marriage also cannot be overstated – academic studies repeatedly show that children do best when raised by their married mom and dad. In an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court, children raised by same-sex parents pleaded with the court to not redefine marriage. While they love their parents, they suffered from being raised in a same-sex household and not having the chance to have a mom and a dad.

Marriage is an important goal for men and women to strive for because marriage between a man and a woman increases economic productivity, financial success, personal health, and happiness. The definition of marriage impacts all of society, which is the very reason the Court should let the democratic process continue to play out so that the issues may be debated and evaluated.

A prime example of a secondary effect of redefining marriage is adoption. Just this week we see that rulings from only four federal judges redefining marriage in Arizona has caused Arizona’s adoption policy to be changed to no longer follow the plain language of Arizona’s adoption statute. The plain language of Arizona adoption law only allows joint adoption by a married man and woman. Although I could not disagree more with this recent policy change – the court decisions overturning Arizona’s marriage amendment definition did not extend to adoption law – the policy change serves as an example of an area of society impacted by redefining marriage.

Another area of society we see being impacted by the redefinition of marriage is the ability of individuals to freely live out their faith. From Barronelle Stutzman in Washington State, to Kelvin Cochran in Atlanta, Georgia, the redefinition of marriage is clashing head-on with citizens’ First Amendment rights and freedom to live and work according to their beliefs.

These are just two of the many areas of society that are being negatively impacted by this judge-driven redefinition of marriage.

Despair is not a word in our vocabulary at CAP. Neither is growing weary from fighting these battles. Regardless of how the Court answers the legal question on marriage, God’s design for marriage will never change and we must double our efforts to restore a culture of marriage in this country.

I ask you to join with our CAP Team and millions around the country to pray for next week’s hearing. Pray that the nine justices will interpret our laws correctly and leave the policy decision about the definition of marriage to the states, not to the whims of a few unelected federal judges.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

  • Just Announced – Senator Marco Rubio at CAP Event! Private Reception and General Admission Tickets now available!
  • ICYMI – Friend of the Court brief filed by CAP. Read the amicus brief signed onto by CAP filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in advance of their April 28 oral arguments on whether states may continue to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

 

Courage to Stand

Friday, April 17, 2015

Over the last two decades or so, defining marriage as only the union of one man and one woman has become one of the most controversial issues of our day. The apparently prevailing “cultural forces” have decided that believing in this timeless definition is equivalent to bigotry of the worst order.

It truly takes courage today to stand up for marriage between one man and one woman. It also takes perseverance, patience, and love for our neighbor – the unshakeable kind that doesn’t waver even when sharply criticized.

There are a number of leaders today that are stepping forward to provide a voice for marriage in this highly contentious time. Perhaps one of the most influential is Dr. Ryan T. Anderson from the Heritage Foundation.

The Washington Post ran a profile of Ryan this week that I think we all should read. Ryan’s approach to speaking about the goodness and purpose of marriage is first based in understanding. Ryan – a millennial who goes from university to university discussing marriage between a man and a woman – knows not everyone will agree with what we believe, but believes that mere disagreement does not mean we have to demean or attack our opponents.

It’s not just enough though to be friendly in this debate – we also must know the facts, and not shy away from the realities of marriage between a man and a woman we know to be true.  

Each one of us has an opportunity and need to engage in this discussion. We each must work towards a better understanding of why marriage matters. Or, in other words, work towards “being prepared to give a defense” for our convictions on marriage.


Now is not a time to grow faint or weary of this debate. Rather, it’s a time to engage more deeply and pray more earnestly for our culture to rebuild the foundation of marriage between one man and one woman.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

It's a Wrap

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Arizona Legislature officially adjourned sine die early last Friday morning, ending what was the shortest legislative session in five decades.

Going into this legislative session, our top priority was stopping a statewide Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) – a law carving out protected class status on the basis of one’s so-called sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and applying that to public accommodations and employment.

Although we heard rumblings before session that there may be a strong push for such a law, the proposals that were introduced did not even receive committee hearings thanks to opposition by legislative leaders.

The significance of stopping this type of law from passing cannot be overstated. ENDA-type laws pose the greatest threat to religious freedom in America today. Around the country we see small business owners facing punitive lawsuits for simply declining to participate in a same-sex wedding – an event that they consider contrary to their faith. From the cake bakers, to the florists, to the wedding photographers, those cases are all being brought due to laws that carve out these new protected classes.

We’re thankful to Gov. Ducey and legislators who supported six CAP-supported bills being passed and signed into law. Here’s a quick overview of these bills:

Life

SB 1318 (sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto) – There are few things more powerful than seeing the women of Silent No More holding up their “I Regret My Abortion" signs. Thanks to SB 1318, some women will be able to avoid this same regret.

By ensuring women are informed that the abortion pill may be reversible, but time is of the essence, SB 1318 will truly save lives, and help many women avoid a devastating life-ending decision. Dr. Allan Sawyer’s powerful testimony before a House Committee showed how the Abortion Pill Reversal works, and that Planned Parenthood cannot be trusted to provide women with all the information they need to make an informed decision.

SB 1318 also protects you from having your tax dollars subsidize the abortion industry by clarifying that no elective abortion coverage can be offered on the heavily-subsidized, federally-run health care exchange operating within Arizona. Poll after poll shows that the American people do not want their tax dollars paying for elective abortions, and this bill ensures that does not happen.

SB 1404 (sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Yee) – No doctor should ever be the final arbiter in your or one of your loved one’s potential end-of-life situation. Yet a growing national movement promotes a new end-of-life document titled  “Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” that could allow a doctor to override your wishes. A pilot program has introduced the “POLST” in Arizona. It can be used to hasten end-of-life actions. SB 1404 ensures these documents will not be able to supersede a living will, health care power of attorney, or the decision of someone’s surrogate in the event they are incapacitated.

HB 2213 (sponsored by Rep. Warren Petersen) – This bill shows why our policy team reads every bill introduced each legislative session. HB 2213 requires agency inspectors to allow businesses the opportunity to correct deficiencies identified in inspection reports and for a period of 24 hours the ability to review and redact statements made in interviews. In order to ensure the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) retains all current authority to regulate the abortion industry, we supported an amendment specifically exempting out DHS regulation of health care institutions (which include abortion clinics) from these sections of the bill.

Marriage and Family

SB 1332 (sponsored by Sen. Carlyle Begay) – This law expands Arizona’s groundbreaking Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program to all children living on Native American reservations.

HB 2153 (sponsored by Rep. Justin Olson) – Awaiting the governor’s action, this bill expands Arizona’s Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit program to allow smaller subchapter (s) corporations to make qualifying donations to the program. HB 2153 marks the third time we have worked to pass a variation of this bill, and the two previous times it was vetoed by Governor Brewer. This law is crucial to expanding the number and types of businesses that may donate to the program, which in turn will mean more scholarships available for more parents to choose how to best educate their children.

Religious Freedom

HB 2128 (sponsored by Rep. Darin Mitchell) – Many churches throughout our state will be in a better financial position to serve our communities and spread the Good News because of HB 2128. This new law will grant churches that rent their property an exemption from most property taxes (all but 1%) just like churches that own their property. The passage of this law is the culmination of two years of work with Arizona churches that found themselves left out of the benefit of being exempt from property taxes simply because they did not own their property. HB 2128 corrects this inequality so that these churches have more resources to fulfill their missions.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

  • Now available! Sponsorships and individual tickets to the April 25 CAP Family Dinner with Charles Krauthammer, Governor Doug Ducey, and Barronelle Stutzman.
  • Friend of the Court brief filed by CAP. Read the amicus brief signed onto by CAP filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in advance of their April 28 oral arguments on whether states may continue to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

 

Governor Ducey Signs Pro-Life Legislation!

Monday, March 30, 2015
Governor Doug Ducey has signed CAP-supported SB 1318 into law, protecting taxpayers from subsidizing abortion, and ensuring women considering abortion are informed about a potentially life-saving medical procedure.


Governor Ducey signs SB 1318 into law. 

Arizona becomes the first state in the nation to enact an informed consent provision that guarantees women who are seeking abortions are told it may be possible to reverse the effects of the abortion pill, but time is of the essence.

The provision will protect women like the one who recently returned to a Glendale Planned Parenthood office after receiving the first abortion pill to see if she could stop the effects of the deadly medication. Planned Parenthood’s staff misinformed her when they said there was nothing she could do to stop the abortion.

Thankfully, the young woman got connected to Dr. Allan Sawyer through the website AbortionPillReversal.com. Dr. Sawyer began the woman on the Abortion Pill Reversal regimen, and today, has a healthy ongoing pregnancy.

SB 1318 also ensures taxpayer dollars do not go to the abortion industry by prohibiting medical plans on Arizona’s federally-run health care exchange from offering coverage for elective abortion. The legislation also requires abortion clinics to provide verification to the state that their doctors have proper admitting privileges to Arizona hospitals as prescribed by law as well.

You can view how your lawmakers voted below.


Take a moment today to thank Gov. Ducey for signing this legislation, and the legislature for passing the bill. All too often, our leaders only hear from voters when voters are upset. It’s important to show our gratitude for standing up for life!

Courage wins out

Friday, March 27, 2015
Momentum is building across the country to protect religious freedom. 

Indiana’s new law, much like Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and SB 1062 which CAP-supported last year, affirms the basic freedom of belief. These simple religious freedom laws, that have been in federal law and states’ laws for decades, ensure the government cannot force someone to violate their religious convictions unless the government meets a strict legal test. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled this same way when they said the Obama Administration cannot force the Green Family who owns Hobby Lobby to pay for abortion-causing drugs in their insurance plans. 

In signing the bill, Indiana Governor Mike Pence made a strong statement on how the First Amendment protects freedom for all:

“Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith. The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.”

Gov. Pence showed true courage in signing this bill, and gave a very clear defense of why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was necessary in a press conference yesterday.

I see two keys to Indiana enacting this important law that have ramifications for the entire country. First, Americans are awakening to the growing threats to the freedom of belief. From Kelvin Cochran to Barronelle Stutzman, the stories are mounting of people being punished by the government because of their religious convictions. 

Second, Americans are beginning to tune out the outlandish and ridiculous attacks against foundational religious freedom laws. 

Just like in Arizona when considering SB 1062, the truly crazy claims about Indiana’s law were in full force. Yet this time, when people tried to say the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts would be used to refuse service, people didn’t buy this absurd hype, and ultimately courage won out.

Indiana is a better state because of this courage. I think we’ll start to see a lot more of it throughout the nation.

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com
  • Now available! Sponsorships to the April 25 CAP Family Dinner with Charles Krauthammer, Governor Doug Ducey, and Barronelle Stutzman.
  • A Life and Death Worth Remembering. Kara Tippetts’ story shows how death with dignity is possible without physician-assisted suicide. 
  • Help is on the way for churches. Governor Ducey signed HB 2128 this week to ensure churches who rent their property are exempt from most property taxes. 
  • Pro-life progress! SB 1318 protects taxpayers and ensures women are informed about the abortion pill reversal. This bill is now on Governor Ducey’s desk.

Governor Ducey signs legislation to help churches

Monday, March 23, 2015
Governor Doug Ducey signed CAP-supported legislation this afternoon to help churches that serve our community.

HB 2128 guarantees churches that rent their property are exempt from almost all property taxes. The Arizona Constitution is clear that religious associations and institutions are allowed to be exempt from taxation, yet churches that rent their property do not receive this exemption. Thanks to HB 2128, this inequality has now been corrected.

Sponsored by Representative Darin Mitchell (LD 13), HB 2128 gained bipartisan support when it passed through the legislature. The bill also gained support from Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen.

As committee testimony revealed, churches from throughout the state will benefit from this important legislation. Pastors from The Crossroads Church in Anthem and Palm Valley Church in Goodyear testified how this bill will help them better serve their communities.

Center for Arizona Policy thanks Gov. Ducey for his signature, recognizing the importance of this legislation to the faith-based community.

CAP also thanks the bipartisan majorities in the State House and State Senate who voted for the legislation. You can access the votes on this bill below.



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The end is near…What a week

Friday, March 20, 2015

Now that the legislature has passed a budget, it is a mad dash to “sine die” – adjourn and end the legislative session.

This is the crucial time in session when it’s very easy for a bill to die. Here’s the big picture of this week.

SB 1318

CAP-supported SB 1318 is under constant attack right now from Planned Parenthood, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

This bill does three things:

  • Ensures health care plans offered on Arizona’s Federally-Run Affordable Care Act Health Care Exchange do not provide insurance coverage for elective abortions.
  • Requires abortion clinics to verify with the Department of Health Services that doctors performing abortions have the necessary admitting privileges as required by Arizona law.
  • Informs women seeking abortion that it may be possible to reverse the effects of a medication abortion after taking the first pill of the 2-pill regimen.

SB 1318 is scheduled to be debated and voted on by the Arizona House on Monday. If you haven’t responded yet, please take time today to reply to our Action Alert! It is crucial that your representatives hear from you.

There has been much written about this bill – unfortunately, not all of it has been true. A former Planned Parenthood board member wrote a misleading op-ed in the Arizona Republic, which was refuted in today’s paper by OB/GYN’s Dr. Allan Sawyer and Dr. Clint Leonard.

The Republic also ran a factually inaccurate “Fact Check” about the bill, which state Senator Nancy Barto responded to in order to set the record straight.

Our opponents are pulling out all the stops against this bill – that’s why we need your help.

HB 2128

If you want to see why your emails and calls matter, look no further than HB 2128.

This bill ensures that churches that rent their property do not have to pay property tax – just like those churches that own their property.

It passed out of the Senate on Wednesday with a bipartisan vote: 18-11. It now is on Governor Ducey’s desk, awaiting his action.

The passage of HB 2128 only happened because pastors and people like you contacted their legislators and came down to the Capitol in support of the bill. Now is the time to pray for HB 2128 and for the churches throughout the state that would benefit from this bill.

Religious Freedom

We continue to see the harmful effects of redefining marriage. From Barronelle Stutzman, to Kelvin Cochran, and now, to Arizona judges and justices of the peace.

A recently issued “Judicial Ethics Advisory Opinion” states that a judge or justice of the peace who performs a wedding for a man and woman “manifests bias and prejudice” and violates the judicial ethical rules if they decline to also solemnize marriages for two men or two women. Stop and think about that for a minute – today, in our culture, a judge who believes marriage should be only between a man and a woman will be deemed to have shown bias and prejudice – really strong terms to apply to someone simply following their religious beliefs or conscience outside of their courtroom duties.

Essentially, the opinion means judges or justices of the peace who choose to perform weddings must perform same-sex weddings. It’s not an acceptable choice to force a judge to make – either do no weddings or do all weddings.

The Arizona Republic published a misguided editorial about the ruling that has muddied the waters on this issue.

There is no doubt that a judge should treat everyone that walks into their courtroom equally and fairly. Yet this is wholly different than saying if you do not participate in a celebration that is outside of your required duties as a judge, you are “manifesting bias” and breaking the judicial code of conduct.

As an attorney, I strongly disagree with the conclusions reached by this opinion. I can assure you we are looking at all of our options regarding appropriate responses. Yesterday they came for the photographer, then the cake baker, then the fire chief, now the judges. Who will be next?

The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com

  • Dr. Charles Krauthammer, Gov. Doug Ducey, and Barronelle Stutzman are all speaking at the April 25 CAP Family Dinner! Sponsorships will be made available soon.
  • Left Behind In America – Dr. Russell Moore on the Gospel Coalition.

A Second Chance

Friday, March 13, 2015

We’ve all made decisions we’ve later regretted – some more serious than others.

Sadly, some of the most devastating stories of regret come from women who have an abortion and later wish they had chosen life.

This was the case of an Arizona woman who visited Dr. Allan Sawyer last month. Dr. Sawyer is a board certified OB-GYN and one of the nation’s leading pro-life doctors.

Thanks to Dr. Sawyer, this woman’s story has not ended in tragedy. Read the story below from Dr. Sawyer’s testimony before a legislative committee on Wednesday in support of a new amendment to CAP-supported SB 1318:

Madam Chair, members of the committee: Good morning! My name is Dr. Allan Sawyer. I have been an obstetrician/gynecologist physician in Arizona since 1989, having trained at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, and I have been in private practice in Glendale since 1992. 

Most recently I am the immediate past president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and currently am the chairman of the Ethics Committee at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center where I also have served on the Medical Executive Committee for the past decade. 

Over my career I have delivered over 10,000 babies on three different continents and have cared for over 16,000 women in Arizona. 

This morning I would like to take this opportunity to support the proposed amendment to SB 1318, which ensures abortion providers inform women that if a woman changes her mind, it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion after the first pill is taken but that time is of the essence.

I have spoken to hundreds of my patients about their past elective abortions, some of which have occurred within hours, and some of which occurred decades ago. The common thread between these women is the regret that they harbor in having chosen abortion. 

The abortion pill RU-486 (mifepristone) is a potent antagonist of progesterone and cortisol. The antiprogestational effects of RU-486 (mifepristone) will result in fetal death, as progesterone is essential for fetal growth and survival. Natural micronized progesterone supplementation, either by intramuscular injections or by oral administration, can be used to overcome the antiprogestational properties of RU-486 (mifepristone). 

Just last month a young woman walked into the Glendale Planned Parenthood office, 10 weeks pregnant grieving over the recent loss of her father. Thinking that this, her first pregnancy was conceived at an unfortunate time, she was given RU-486, to cause a medication abortion. 

Within hours she regretted her decision, and the next morning she went back to the Planned Parenthood office on Eugie and begged them to reverse the effect of the pill.

She was told by the Planned Parenthood staff that she had to complete the process or else she would have complications and get an infection. 

While still standing in the clinic waiting room, she Googled abortion pill reversal on her cell phone, where she connected to a national call center that pairs women in the midst of a medication abortion with physicians who are willing to help save the lives of their unborn babies. Within 45 minutes she was in my office where I showed her on ultrasound her 10 week fetus with a heartbeat and moving inside of her womb. 

I started her on a protocol of high dose progesterone to undo the lethal effects of the antiprogesterone medication RU-486 (mifepristone). Because she had used all of her available money to pay for her abortion at Planned Parenthood and she didn’t have enough money to pay for the progesterone, I personally paid for her medication at a local pharmacy. She is now past her first trimester, and her baby is now out of danger and doing well, and has a due date in September.

Natural micronized progesterone supplementation has been used for years in obstetrics, gynecology, and infertility care. The safety of progesterone supplementation during pregnancy has been well established, and this is used routinely for high risk pregnancies such as those conceived through in vitro fertilization and also for pregnancies at risk of preterm labor. 

Administration of supplemental progesterone to women who have taken RU-486 (mifepristone) can overcome the antiprogestational effects of the RU-486 (mifepristone), support the early pregnancy, and effectively stop the medical abortion from occurring. 

Madam Chair and members of the committee, as a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist licensed in the State of Arizona for over a quarter of a century, I testify to you today that abortion is not healthcare.

I also opine that women who have initiated a medication abortion process and who change their minds, for whatever reason, should not have their baby stolen from them because Planned Parenthood, or any abortionist, withheld life-saving facts or provided misinformation to these women.

If it wasn’t for Dr. Sawyer and the abortion pill reversal, this woman would have lost her child due to Planned Parenthood’s staff telling her there was no hope for her child.

This is a story that needs to be told. Not only because Planned Parenthood misled the young woman, but because she ever thought Planned Parenthood was a trustworthy organization. This is a story that saves lives.

Help us spread the word and expose Planned Parenthood by sharing Dr. Sawyer’s testimony today on Facebook. Many – even in the pro-life community – do not know that the abortion pill may be reversible.

Tough Choices

Friday, March 06, 2015

It’s budget week at the state Capitol after Governor Ducey and legislative leadership came to an agreement over how to address the state’s billion-dollar deficit.

Budget week is filled with long days and late nights for legislators. It takes more work than most people realize to fulfill the Arizona Constitutional mandate to provide a balanced budget every year, and this should serve as a reminder to us all to keep our elected officials in our prayers.

Center for Arizona Policy doesn’t get involved with the budget unless a budget issue arises on one of our core issues – and this year is no exception.

Yet as I’ve watched the recent news coverage and listened to last night’s committee hearings on the budget bills, I must share with you that not all the facts are being presented. Like how the budget is actually spending more on child safety, or that in total, ASU is only receiving a 2.5% reduction, and U of A is receiving a 1.8% reduction. Like how the budget increases funding for public schools. Like how the money simply isn’t there to provide more money for government-funded programs. 

I fully realize that there is much more to this budget, but my encouragement to you is to be patient with our leaders and don’t buy some of the negative hype surrounding this budget as the state works through a very difficult process that is guaranteed to be painful. Dealing with a billion-dollar deficit always is.

What I can assure you is that there is another budget proposal floating around the Capitol that Center for Arizona Policy would unequivocally oppose.

Legislative Democrats once again proposed a budget that would completely eliminate the Scholarship Tax Credit program. The proposal promotes the false assumption that this program takes money out of the general fund and away from public schools in order to fund private schools. Hence, opponents of school choice allege that cutting this program would provide more dollars to fund public schools.

This could not be further from the truth.

Eliminating the Scholarship Tax Credit would not only force thousands of children out of the schools they currently attend, but it would COST the state money. The average scholarship awarded to a child to attend the private school chosen by their parents still falls several thousand dollars below what the state pays to educate a child in the public schools. It doesn’t take a mathematician to understand that an average scholarship of approximately $2,000 is less than the cost to educate that child in the public schools.

Let me emphasize our school choice philosophy: how a parent chooses to educate their child is between the parent and God whether that choice is public, charter, online, private, or homeschool. We don’t make a value statement at CAP as to how a parent should educate their children. But we will defend and promote parents’ options to have the full range of school choices, including seeking scholarships through the tax credit and empowerment scholarship account programs. Arizona is known for its school choice opportunities throughout the nation. 

Once again, we see the importance of elections. Last November, Arizonans made their voices heard by electing statewide leadership and legislative majorities who support school choice and oppose raising taxes on hard-working Arizona families.

There is still much work to be done at the legislature – both to pass a budget and to address serious needs facing the state (such as ensuring taxpayer dollars don’t subsidize the abortion industry). You can track the progress of CAP-supported bills on our Bill Tracker, or watch live legislative debate at azleg.gov.


Arizona Churches Need Your Voice!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A CAP-supported bill to help churches could be voted on by the Arizona Senate very soon – and your senator urgently needs to hear from you!

Churches give back to their communities in countless ways, that’s why they have always been exempt from property tax.
 
Yet churches that rent their property in Arizona do not get this same benefit – this is a tremendous inequality that can result in smaller churches not receiving the same benefit as other churches that can afford to own their facility.
 
HB 2128 fixes this inequity by exempting churches that rent their property from paying most property taxes.
 
This simple bill is a common sense fix with broad support – for example, Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen supports this measure. Yet there are a handful or organizations working to undermine this bill. That’s why it’s critical that you contact your elected officials today!

Here are some basic facts about HB 2128:

  • This simple bill ensures all churches are treated equally – whether they rent their church or own their property. Churches that rent would be receiving this benefit if they could afford to own their property. This bill simply ensures these churches are not penalized because they don’t have a big enough budget.  
  • HB 2128 ensures the tax break is passed onto the church. HB 2128 has protections in it to ensure that property owners are passing the tax break onto the church that rents their property.
  • Any impact HB 2128 will have on the state budget will be negligible. Yet, it will greatly help churches that are serving our communities. And remember, these churches would be completely exempt from property taxes if they could afford to buy their property. 
  • Read more about HB 2128 on CAP’s Fact Sheet.

Action Needed

  1. Contact your State Senator. This bill could be heard on the Arizona Senate Floor very soon. Don’t delay – click to send them a note today! 
  2. Forward this email to a friend. We are getting reports that opponents of this bill have already begun contacting legislators and their county assessors. They must hear from supporters to pass HB 2128!
  3. Pray! Pray that this important bill becomes law. 

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