John Fillmore
Arizona State Representative

Image"It was a lot of fun”. How many people can say that about a job? But that’s exactly what John Fillmore said about his job as an Arizona State Representative just finishing up his first term of office.

John was clearly enthusiastic when outlining the accomplishments of the Legislature this year. 1395 bills were proposed – 389 went to the governor of which 363 were signed. And one of the biggest accomplishments of all … they balanced the budget. In addition the Legislature managed to put $450 Million into a Rainy Day Fund; applied $150 Million toward the state’s debt; and put $150 Million into the Statewide Education Fund. The challenges were enormous … “there is never enough money”.


While serving on the Appropriations and Education committees, John was directly involved in a number of issues including school rankings, on-line courses, a controversial Biblical program elective and the creation of a statewide teaching certificate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math referred to as STEM.  Add to that - medical marijuana and protecting Arizona’s military bases – it was a great first term.

The recent Supreme Court decision on SB1070 and the Federal Government’s decision to deny Arizona’s law enforcement community access to the ICE database under the cooperative 287(g) agreement has given us, in Arizona, a clearer understanding of our immigration problem. John gave us some insight as to what’s in store for the future. Arizona must take a different view toward solving the problems caused by illegal immigration in our state. Step one will be to focus on quantifying the number of illegal immigrants and to accurately calculate the resulting cost in education and medical benefits; an amount estimated to be around $2 Billion annually.

John Fillmore is a former member of our Rotary club.