STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Arizona House Democrats elected Rep. Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28), to serve as the minority leader for the 52nd Legislature. Rep. Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson (District 10), will continue to serve as the caucus’ assistant minority leader and Rebecca Rios, D-Phoenix (District 27), joined the leadership team as the minority whip.
Meyer, a physician, has been a member of the House since 2009. He is also on the Children’s Museum of Phoenix Board of Directors and is a former member of the Scottsdale School District Governing Board. He said funding education and creating jobs will be among the primary legislative priorities in 2015.
“There is no question that education and long-term economic security go hand in hand,” Meyer said. “If we want to ensure that our economy is strong and that we are encouraging business development and job creation, then we have to prepare our kids for the workforce. That means getting schools the necessary resources.”
Wheeler, who has been a member of the House since 2010 and was previously on the Tucson City Council, added that the state has an obligation to fund schools.
“The state owes our schools billions of dollars and we have to make sure that debt is paid,” Wheeler said. “There are ways to meet this financial obligation; it’s just a question of having the right priorities.”
Rios, a social worker, has served in the Legislature in the past. She was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 1994 until 2000 and was a part of the leadership team in the Arizona Senate, where she served from 2005 until 2010. She said she is prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
“We’re expecting to deal with some tough issues this session,” Rios said. “We’re ready for it and we’re ready to work together to move Arizona forward.”