Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Did you know that Arizona has no budget, yet?

I just posted this and shared it with my Facebook friends...

Did you know that the AZ legislature has passed basically the same budget that was vetoed in early July, and that it has been sitting on Jan Brewer's desk for (I think) close to two weeks, now? Public opinion may make a difference. It only takes a minute to call her office. In my opinion, she needs to be encouraged to consider other revenue sources besides an additional sales tax, which is a slam to the middle / low income folks out there. I'm sharing this with many of my Facebook friends; I'm not sure that all of your political views are the same as mine, but I think it is really important that we all consider what is in the long-term best interest of our state. Feel free to share with anyone who cares.

The following is excerpted from Steve Farley, AZ representative for district 28, in his Farley Report:

"There are two clear ways out of this [budget impasse]:

1) Republican leaders must stop playing games and enter serious negotiations with Democrats that include adequate funding for education, public safety, and services for the most vulnerable of our citizens, along with revenue sources that will help stabilize our revenue structure long-term so we are never faced with such a crisis again.

2) While she is right in demanding increased revenues, the Governor must drop her obsessive insistence on a temporary sales tax increase as the only revenue option she will sign.

There are many options for increasing revenues that are fair, stable, and position our state to grow our way our of this recession. Democratic budget proposals throughout the past year have highlighted many of them.

Arizona is more dependent on sales taxes than any other state. During a recession, people buy fewer things, so sales tax revenues decrease dramatically. And people with lower incomes are hurt proportionately more by sales taxes than by any other form of tax. Raising our already high sales taxes will only dig us in deeper and keep us financially vulnerable into the foreseeable future.

If Governor Brewer were to approach the negotiating table by recognizing she and Dems both agree that we need an additional one or two billion in revenues, and then invite us to discuss options, we could get an agreement fairly quickly that would get all Democrats on board. Paired with some carefully chosen business tax cuts, we could develop a package that would attract enough Republican votes to get ourselves a budget.

Right now, this scenario is not developing, but I can't see any other scenario that will work. And we need a budget NOW.

Unfortunately, there are a number of influential Republican legislators who are gleefully embracing the imminent destruction of state government on ideological principles. They are emblematic of the national problem with the Republican Party that has exploded forth in the Republican-inspired sabotage of the healthcare debate using outright lies and fearmongering."

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