As we begin the New Year, I want to say thank you once again to our community for re-electing me to represent you in the state senate for the next two years. It is an honor to serve our community, and I am humbled by your trust and support, as evidenced by our double digit margin of victory this past November.
We are set to begin the 2019 legislative session on Monday, Jan. 14, and this session promises to be an interesting one. I will be serving on three committees critical to the budget and economic issues this session – Appropriations, Finance, and Commerce.
Education funding will continue to be a dominant theme this year at the state capitol, as we seek to continue our investment in our local K-12 public schools. I supported the budget last year that gave our teachers and educators a 10 percent pay raise, with our goal this year of increased support for our educators and our schools. I will be working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on ways to further increase our support of our local schools.
Water will be another dominant issue, particularly now that the threat of water shortages in future years is becoming more evident. Approval of our state’s drought contingency plan is critical to prepare ourselves for future drought and shortages.
An issue that is close to home for our community is the alarming rate of suicide among our teenage youth. I introduced a bill last year that would have mandated suicide prevention training for our educators at the middle school and high school level. I will be introducing the bill again this year, this time with broad bipartisan support.
This training will help educators spot the warning signs before it’s too late and know the best ways to lend a helping hand.
In addition to my work at the capitol, I will also be visiting local businesses and employers this spring to hear more about how I can be helpful and what issues are most important to them. And just like I did in my first term, I will also be touring all 45 public schools in our district in 2019 – it’s one of my favorite parts of the job, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again!
My door is always open to our community at the state capitol. Starting Jan. 19, I will be holding community open office hours every Saturday morning during session for anyone who wants to ask me a question or discuss bills or issues that are before us at the state capitol. They will be coming up at a coffee shop near you!
You can check my Facebook or Twitter pages for information on times and locations throughout the legislative session.
You can reach me at the state capitol by phone at 602-926-3004, or by email at email@example.com.
-Sen. Sean Bowie represents Legislative District 18, which includes Ahwatukee.