Arizona Senate, District 20

Arizona's 30 state senators each represent a unique district of voters. Republicans have held the majority in recent years, although most recently by only a handful of votes.The job pays $24,000 a year, plus mileage and per-diem during session.

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    Paul Boyer

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    Douglas Ervin

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Biographical Information

Why are you the best person for the job?

Do you support the teacher pay-raise plan passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey? Why or why not?

State funding for Arizona schools remains below pre-recession levels. How should the state address funding for its schools in next year’s budget? How would you pay for any increases?

Does Arizona do enough to require accountability and transparency for charter schools?

Would you support stricter gun laws, including raising the minimum age to 21 for all gun purchases, banning bump stocks and universal background checks on gun sales between private parties?

What should Arizona do to prevent mass shootings in schools?

As a legislator, would you be inclined to support additional tax cuts for individuals or businesses? If so, which taxes would you like to see reduced?

Should recreational marijuana use be legalized in Arizona? Why or why not?

Has Arizona taken the right approach by increasing restrictions on abortion providers and clinics? Why or why not?

What should Arizona be doing to prepare for a potential water-shortage declaration on the Colorado River?

Would you support a statewide law that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public accommodations, such as restaurants and other businesses? Why or why not?

Would you support a statewide law to allow business owners and others to deny services to customers based on religious beliefs? Why or why not?

In terms of the economy, how can the Legislature best encourage sustainable growth that benefits people of all income levels?

Do you support further expanding the Empowerment Scholarship Account program, which provides state funding for private-school education?

What is your position on Proposition 305, the ballot measure that would repeal the Legislature’s 2017 expansion of the voucher program?

What role should Arizona play in helping the federal government secure the border with Mexico?

Has the Legislature done enough to address concerns about sexual harassment among its membership?

Is there an issue not mentioned about that you feel hasn’t received enough attention at the Capitol? How would you address it?

What is the greatest threat to Arizona’s future, and how would you address it?

Last spring, lawmakers – at the direction of the governor’s office – opted to not authorize the state’s expenditure of $56 million in federal aid for child-care costs for the working poor. Should the state accept the $56 million? Why or why not?

Family members who take in their relative’s children when the kids are removed from their parents’ home get a sliver of the money paid to foster parents, about $45 a month, compared to $650. What responsibility, if any, does the state have to these family members? Should they be paid the same as foster parents?

Age 43
Family Elizabeth - wife Fred & Sharon - parents
Facebook http://BoyerAZ
Twitter @BoyerAZ
Campaign Phone (623) 234-0014
It’s been my honor to serve the people of district 20. When I campaigned as a conservative, I meant it. I’ve received numerous Friend of the Family awards and A Hero of the Taxpayer, and Champion of the Taxpayer awards. I’m also teacher who’s in the classroom every morning, so I see the impact of the policy we pass at the state legislature that impacts schools on a daily basis. Some of the issues I’m particularly proud of include: writing the bill to fund the fight to protect kids from child predators, Free Speech on university campuses, help for firefighters who get cancer on the job, help for first responders who develop PTSD, and testing options for high schoolers. We’ve increased education funding by $2.7 billion dollars and have the lowest unemployment rate in Arizona in over a decade. I hope you’ll visit to learn more, or to ask questions. I ask for your vote this August and again in November. Thank you.
Yes, and I’m always looking for ways to get teachers more money. I’m grateful to the Governor and my colleagues for supporting the 20% by 2020 plan.
This legislature is already committed to adding 5% next year and an additional 5% the following for a full 20% pay increase by 2020. This is on top of Additional Assistance to schools we’ve already delivered on and are committed to including over the next four years. We’ve seen significant growth in the state’s economy, 160,000 new jobs in Arizona since 2015, and a reduction in AHCCCS caseloads all of which is helping to pay for this increase.
Yes, charters currently undergo annual audits including financial and performance audits. Further, the Charter Board can pull in any charter for underperformance at any point and can put that charter school on a plan or withhold 10 percent of their funding if they don’t think the charter is performing well enough.
The state should create an anonymous hotline where any student in Arizona can call to report a threat or violent activity. I ran House Bill 2489 last session that would’ve created such a hotline with law enforcement answering each call or respond to an app with a report of dangerous or violent activity. I’ll run this bill again next should I make it to the state senate.
No. Arizona currently has a business friendly environment regarding taxes and regulations and we should protect what we currently have.
No, because marijuana is particularly harmful to adolescents due to the developing brain, which doesn’t fully develop until the mid 20s. According to the New England Journal of Medicine (Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use, June 2014) the known effects of marijuana include: impaired short-term memory, impaired motor coordination, altered judgment, in high doses paranoia and psychosis, addiction, altered brain development, poor educational outcome, cognitive impairment, diminished life satisfaction, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and increased risk of chronic psychosis disorders. Making marijuana available recreationally will only lead to more of these known effects, especially in children.
Yes, because we ought to do all we can to protect life no matter what stage of development.
Arizona should have a multi-prong approach including: desalination, incentivize the use of drip systems, study the use of recycled water, invest in and develop the use of less water-thirsty plants, and fix our canal leaks.
I don’t commit to legislation until I’ve read the language first. Regarding the issue though, no one is denying services to customers based on religious beliefs. What is at question is the government compelling business owners to craft messages contrary to their beliefs.
Continue to provide broad-based low taxation and regulations meanwhile reject the doubling of the individual income tax on hard working small business owners that will lead to less tax revenue for the state.
I will always support parents in their choice of determining which school and educational opportunity is best for their child. Anytime we can get parents more involved in their child’s education, which this program does, is a win for students and a win for the state.
I support the expansion but am unsure about the Proposition, since if it passes, it would be more difficult in the future to modify or expand the program to provide even more opportunities for students.
The Border Strike Force has had much success in stopping criminals, drugs, weapons and ammunition trafficked into Arizona. We have collaborated with local governments and the federal government and seen significant results. We should continue this partnership while the Feds continue to secure our border.
Yes, although more can always be done.
Yes. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault in Arizona is abysmal. A victim has only two years after their 18th birthday to report a sexual assault, which solely benefits the perpetrator. In many cases, the perpetrator merely has to wait out the victim and in many cases, this means victims of sexual assault rarely get the justice they deserve in the state of Arizona. I ran House Bill 2157 last year, which unfortunately died but I will bring it back next year.
Water security. Consult the experts and come up with a multi-pronged approach including: desalination, incentivize the use of drip systems, study the use of recycled water, invest in and develop the use of less water-thirsty plants, and fix our canal leaks.
This candidate has not responded to the survey.
This candidate has not responded to the survey.
Age 54
Family Married with two step-children in college.
Twitter @ErvinForAZ
Campaign Phone (602) 741-0629
In addition to being an accountant, outdoorsman, Ironman triathlete, and step-father, I have volunteered for many environmental and educational causes including as a tutor for second-graders at a local public school. Knowing the long-term benefits of investing in pre-K through post-secondary education, I have developed a broad-based plan that generates the revenue our schools desperately need without putting the burden on working families and also helps grow our economy. Quality education is important to allowing everyone an equal opportunity to succeed, but we also need to remove voting barriers, pass the Equal Rights Amendment, celebrate our diversity, protect worker rights and make sure all people are treated with respect. I will work towards ensuring everyone has access to affordable and quality healthcare. As an environmentalist, I understand the impact of climate change on our health and am committed to preserving our natural resources.
The pay-raise plan is a nice first step, but more is needed to repair the damage caused by over a decade of underfunding by our legislature. Besides teacher raises, we also need to be properly paying all educators, hiring more counselors to help keep our children safe and modernizing our facilities, buses, equipment, and textbooks. I don’t believe we can rely on the Governor’s proposed plan as it is based on rosy economic forecasts and budget gimmicks that sweep funds from other important responsibilities. So, I have worked with other tax professionals to develop a broad-based plan that will generate the necessary revenue without putting the burden on working families and still help our state’s economy grow. As history has shown, we cannot keep electing the same people to our legislature and expect things to improve in our schools. We need people in office, who know pre-K through post-secondary education is a top priority and will invest in our children.
The approved 2018 teacher pay increase is a start, but the suggested future salary increases are based on shaky revenue assumptions and ignore the overall public education funding shortfalls. We need to bring pay for all educators to the national average, restore the previous funding cuts and update our school funding formulas. To get the needed revenue, I have used my financial experience to develop a broad-based plan that includes eliminating the corporate STO tax credits, reversing unproductive sales tax exemptions, equitably taxing digital goods, resetting individual tax rates and modernizing the corporate income tax structure to truly incentivize companies to invest in Arizona.
No. When parents are making the important decision about where to educate their children, they must have equal access to consistent information across all school choices. Currently, public charter schools are not subject to the same auditing and reporting requirements as district schools. This hinders a parents ability to make a fully informed decision and trust that the school will not unexpectedly close permanently, which would upset the students learning progress. Any school that is receiving public taxpayer money, which includes charter schools, should be subject to equal public financial disclosures and conflict of interest rules.
As the NRA training guide states “it is the gun owner’s responsibility to ensure that unauthorized or untrained individuals cannot gain access to his or her firearms.” Unfortunately, the current gun sale loopholes do not abide by this important responsibility, so I am in favor of universal background checks that have shown to save lives. Also, we need to ensure that only properly trained individuals have access to military style weapons or devices such as bump stocks which will help protect our community and police officers.

I am proud to have received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate designation, stood with the March For Our Live students, advocated for common sense reforms and remained a supporter of the second amendment.
First, we need to increase the number of school counselors to identify and help students with issues. These professionals will help our students navigate the emotional journey of growing up, create a better atmosphere for learning, reduce teen suicides and make our schools safer. Next, we need to enact red flags laws that will allow family members and police officers to take appropriate actions when a person demonstrates they are a danger to themselves or others, while still ensuring due process. We also need to follow the NRA statements that it is the gun owner’s responsibility to “ensure that unauthorized or untrained individuals cannot gain access” to firearms, which is why we must have universal background checks, which have proven to save lives. Plus, allowing only properly trained individuals to use military style and high-capacity weapons will protect our children, community, and police officers.
At this point, we need to rebalance our tax policy and generate the revenue necessary to properly invest in our children and our community. I have an equitable plan to generate the necessary revenue, which will not put the burden on working families and will grow our state’s economy. Once we are generating the sustainable revenue needed and balancing our budget without gimmicks, I will support reducing taxes for individuals and small businesses.
When considering the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, it is prudent to ignore the rhetoric and objectively consider what is the best long-term approach for the people of Arizona. First, I researched how changes would help address the often discriminatory and harmful marijuana-related criminal sentencing rules that have needlessly destroyed lives. Next, I looked at how the legalization will help the safety and wellbeing of people in our community by ensuring cannabis is subject to safety reviews like other adult consumer products. Finally, I reviewed the long-term benefits of using the resulting revenue for addiction treatment, mental health care, and public education. After carefully considering these factors, I came to the logical conclusion that legalizing cannabis for adult use is the best approach when done with proper oversight.
No. We need to respect a woman’s right to choose and keep the procedure safe, legal and available. Instead, of putting up roadblocks and trying to shame women, the best approach to reducing unintended pregnancies is with medically accurate sex education and affordable access to family planning services.
I am hopeful the current discussions by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Central Arizona Water Conservation District related to the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan and the risks to Colorado River supply of water to Arizona will produce valuable results. I look forward to seeing what recommendations emerge from these meetings, working with all interested parties and then taking meaningful legislative action. Most importantly we can no longer afford to have a legislature that ignores this critical problem and I believe my environmental background will be beneficial the in State Senate as we review alternatives and take the steps necessary to protect our water.
Yes. All people deserve to be treated equally with respect and dignity regardless of their gender identification or sexual orientation.
No. While I fully support everyone’s religious freedoms, I do not believe businesses should be allowed to discriminate against people under the guise of religious beliefs.
We need to take the responsible financial approach that investing in the people of Arizona is the best way to encourage sustainable growth that benefits everyone. Of course, we need to properly fund all levels of education including expanding quality learning child care programs that give children a good start and help working parents. Also, we need to invest in our local infrastructure, protect our natural resources and expand health care programs which all have long-term benefits and are necessary to handle the economic growth that allows local business to flourish. Instead of continuing to give tax breaks to out-of-state corporations and special interest groups, we need to have an equitable tax policy that generates the revenue we need without putting the burden on working families. One piece of my broad-based tax plan modernizes the corporate income tax structure to truly incentivize companies to invest in Arizona without the state picking winners and losers.
No. The proposed ESA expansion will divert taxpayer money from our already underfunded public schools to private and parochial institutions, which violates the intent of the Arizona Constitution and hurts our students. This is why I worked with Save Our Schools to gather signatures and refer the misguided legislation to the voters.
I worked with Save Our Schools to gather the necessary signatures to refer the measure to the ballot and I encourage people to Vote No on Proposition 305.
Regardless of the level of government, we must ensure that American values are upheld and all people are treated with respect and dignity. Instead of giving in to fear mongering and hateful rhetoric, we need to stand against injustices and not be complicit when basic human rights are threatened.

Our country needs secure borders and local, state and federal agencies should work together towards common goals. However, I share the concern raised by the Arizona Sheriffs Association that state programs like the border strike force are making it difficult for the inadequately funded Department of Public Safety to fulfill its primary mission and to properly handle patrols on interstates and highways thus increasing the burden on local law enforcement agencies.
I believe that the Legislature took some prudent steps towards addressing sexual harassment among its membership, but there is always room for improvement to promote an equal, safe and respectful environment.
I will push to have Arizona ratify the Equal Rights Amendment so that women have a constitutional guarantee of equality of rights under the law. Unfortunately, our current legislature is so afraid of equality for women, that each year they have voted to suppress conversation of the topic.

Instead of finding ways to encourage more citizens to vote, our current legislature continues to create obstacles to voter participation. I would modernize our voter registration laws to allow for automatic registration, expanded voter locations, and greater security.
I believe the greatest threat to Arizona’s future is an ineffective legislature with too many members who are focused on short-term political gain instead of taking action for the long-term benefit of the people of Arizona. As a state senator, I will address this by verifying every piece of proposed legislation meets the following criteria - 1) Does it treat all people with respect? 2) Is there a demonstrated need? 3) Is it a good long-term approach for Arizona? Also, I will help implement rules to reduce the influence of special interest groups on our political process, increase transparency and encourage citizen participation. I will represent all the people of Legislative District 20 equally, respectively, and honestly.
It is completely unacceptable that our preschool children will suffer the consequences of our current legislators failing to do their job and missing out on an opportunity to utilize existing funds. The outdated Arizona reimbursement rates for child care centers to teach children of low-income working families is causing businesses to not accept these children and forcing kids to be left in unsafe situations.

I will work to correct this mistake and to expand early learning options.
The state should always do what is best for the children and in many situations, it would better for a child to stay with family members. So, the drastic disparity in foster care rates needs to be addressed so that the financial aspects do not cause a foster child to be removed from relatives. I will support having all foster parents paid appropriate rates regardless if they are family members or not.