We've had about a week to decompress after the legislative session, which ended last Wednesday. Usually, we finish about the same time that the budget is done, but the GOP leadership wanted to pass out another tax credit give-away to out-of-state companies.
You know. Priorities.
I did notice a shift in tone at the end of session, at least among the press that covered the legislature. For the first time that I can remember, the press is starting to question whether perhaps we've gone too far in the "tax cut in perpetuity" mantra. Here's an article on the topic from Howie Fischer, a reporter that I've never seen report critically on the GOP "drown government in the bathtub" mentality.
In another astonishing admission, former Governor Jan Brewer stated last week said that perhaps we cut taxes too far during her administration.
We've cut taxes for 27 of the last 28 years, depriving our budget of over $2 billion since 2009 that we could use for education, universities and infrastructure. In all those years that they promised that tax cuts would actually result in more money in our economy and revenues, we have roughly the same budget that we had 15 years go.
At some point we need to wake up and smell the collective coffee. I'm not even talking about raising taxes. I'm talking about having a clear-eyed review of what we've been giving away and whether its actually providing the benefits that have been promised all these years.
I think we would find the results of such a review enlightening, to say the least.
In other news, if you like the work that I've done this session, please contribute to my re-election campaign. Please make a contribution of any level at this link on my website.
News Around the District
1) There are only 38 days until the first We the People Summit, on June 24th. This is your chance if you've been newly-inspired to get involved to help change the state, or if you've been at it for a while and you want to meet the thousands of people who are ready to join the fight. We will have 36 workshops and panels to cover everything from how to run for office to how to become a citizen lobbyist. Tickets are on sale now at this link for the first We the People Summit!
Please purchase your ticket right away. Your early purchase will help us secure our space at the Phoenix Convention Center, as well as help us plan the best conference possible.
2) The LD24 Dems meet every second Thursday of the month at 7pm. Stay tuned to this Facebook page for updates.
3) We are putting together a Summer Chill Series of fundraisers for my campaign, with an emphasis on interesting experiences, which you can share with your friends. Our first, on June 1st will be at The Womack. We are going to have a mixology demonstration for your entertainment. Tickets are $50, and you can find them at this link.
We will have more events throughout the summer, and some will be specifically more family-friendly, too. So, stay tuned on the campaign Facebook Page.
1) I found it interesting that some small businesses in Phoenix, whom we were told would be severely damaged by the minimum wage hike, have reported quite the opposite. "It has been in effect four months now, and we haven't seen the apocalypse that some expected," said Jack Lunsford, CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association. Here's the article on that issue.
2) Here's a great piece from Laurie Roberts that helps debunk the myth that teachers could have better pay, only if school boards would give it to them, as opposed to the legislature. This is an old trope that the legislative leaders bring out when they start feeling the heat for draining over $2 billion from K-12 since 2009. They want you to think that the problem is just that school boards are terrible at spending money. They distract from the fact that, for instance, because the legislature has never fully-funded the School Facilities Board, local school boards must make up the difference with money that could otherwise go to teachers. Its a shameful distraction and misrepresentation of the facts.
3) The Sierra Club has published a Conservation Vision for Arizona's Water Future. This is a good read, and quite reasonable. While the Ground Water Act has been a wonderful asset to our state, I believe that it is high time for some updates. For instance, there are many parts of the state outside of Active Management Areas where mining our aquifers continues without limits. I suspect that they now are pulling water out faster in some areas than people were in the 1970s, in areas of the state that originally inspired the management act.