Arizona Senate, District 8

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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  • Candidate picture

    Sharon Girard
    (Dem)

  • Frank Pratt
    (Rep)

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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 64
Family Kirk Tatom - husband Kira Palmer - daughter
Twitter @Girard4az
Campaign Phone (305) 803-1560
Absolutely. But it is just a start. We need to do much more. Now, we need to restore all funding to schools and teachers and then build on this restoration by additional funds and support for our public schools. Teachers are leaving the profession and our state. We must raise salaries for teachers and all support staff to a level that is commensurate with experience, responsibilities and performance. We must work to keep our teachers in Arizona and support them by paying them a living wage that is competitive and fair. Our teachers are dedicated to our children, we must be dedicated to supporting our teachers. We also must decrease the emphasis on testing which puts an undue strain on staff and children.
We must freeze corporate tax breaks until full funding is restored. We should also look to audit all tax loopholes and look to end many of them based on criteria decided upon by the legislature. We should also look at state lottery money usage. That money should be used for education. We will use the increased revenues from InvestinEd. We must also fund JTech programs and community colleges.
No. All schools that use public funds must conform to the same accountability and transparency rules. Charter schools mus conform to the same rules as public district schools. I suggest we consider a moratorium on new charter schools until all comply with the same regulations as public district schools. We should also have the money allocated to charter school students follow them personally. If the student leaves the charter school program and returns to public school, the money should follow the student and not remain in the charter school system. This puts an unfair burden on the public schools.
Yes to all. We need to do more to ensure the health and safety of all in Arizona and protect everyone from gun violence. I would also work to roll back open carry and work to protect domestic violence victims with expanded firearm restraining orders.
Expand use of counselors in schools. Arizona has the lowest ranking of students to counselors in the country. We should bring up standards to recommended numbers, 1-250 students. We need more resource officers, nurses and social workers. We also must look to expanding mental health services in schools and districts. Rural districts lack mental health resources. We should NOT arm teachers no make our schools armed camps. Children must feel safe and secure in schools. Gun violence is a society health problem and must be researched and treated as such.
No new tax cuts until public education is fully funded. We must make all tax increases equitable and not put an unfair burden on the poor and lower middle class. The rich must pay their fair share and should be taxed accordingly.
Yes. Marijuana has been found to be safe and effective for many health problems. National marijuana legalization is on the horizon for most states. Decriminalizing the drug reduces the burden on the criminal justice system. Recreational use can be controlled and managed by laws, equal to those for alcohol. Revenues collected from sales will be beneficial to the state.
Absolutely not. Arizona is extremely restrictive for women exercising their right to choose. We must work to eliminate barriers to care for women seeking their constitutional right to control their own reproduction. The right to choose is a core right for all women and is a private and personal matter. All TRAP (targeted restrictions for Abortion providers) laws must be repealed.
Water is a complex issue but we cannot continue to ignore this problem. We must assemble experts to come up with viable plans. Conservation must be addressed. We must also look to the oversubscribing of water in active management districts and use in no districts. We must work to preserve water for agriculture and mining use and be responsible when planning future developments.
Absolutely It is not acceptable in a civilized society to discriminate against any group of people.
No. In a civilized society we must be fair and welcoming to all. In our country state and church are separate. Religious bias has no place in our society. As a medical provider I put judgement aside when treating all my patients. We must not push our personal religious beliefs onto another person in any way and leave our bias at home when dealing with the public.
We can offer incentives for conservation and responsible sustainable growth. We mus focus on educating our children which in turn will benefit all income levels. Education is the great equalizer and lifts up those out of poverty. Our children are our greatest resource and will become our leaders. We must teach to promote a sustainable future and encourage our children to risk, experiment and grow. We must be dedicated to clean water, air and be good stewards of our land and the enviiornment.
No. Expanding these scholarships hurts those it was originally intended to help. Private school education should never be funded by public tax dollars.
I do not support upholding the contested legislation which expands ESAs. I will vote no on 305.
Arizona must be humane and compassionate in dealing with immigrants. I do not agree with the national guard at the border. I do not agree with building a wall. We must keep families together and not detain those asking for refugee status. We must work to welcome those into our country who seek asylum. For profit companies should not make money detaining immigrants and we must not allow this practice or the building of more detention centers. We must add more legal advocates to help immigrants coming into our country so they can all get fair legal representation.
The legislature must have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment which must be enforced. Victims must feel safe when reporting abuse. Offenders mus be prosecuted.
Healthcare. The opioid crisis must be addressed in a way that does not harm legitimate chronic pain patients. Drug abuse treatment must not be punitive and we need to pass a needle exchange program. We need more substance abuse programs and more homeless and veterans programs. We must address the state's physician shortage. We should look to expand KidsCare so no child is without healthcare. We must work to expand mental health services in rural areas. We must pass mandated age appropriate comprehensive sex education which will work to address the health and welfare of all children in our state.
Our future is our children. Our greatest threat is the lack of funding and emphasis the state puts on educating our future. Our next leaders and problem solvers are our children. When families leave our state, when children fail in school, and when our schools fail our children, we all lose. We must return to a fully funded excellent public educational system and invest in our future. We must invest in all our children.
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