“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” –Mark Twain
One of the worst legislative sessions in recent years mercifully came to an end on Wednesday evening. Thank God it’s sine die! Now bar the windows and doors of the capitol before they can come back and do any more harm.
The Arizona Republic reports, Arizona Legislature ends session with tax, welfare bills on final day:
State lawmakers ended their 2017 session Wednesday with a tax-break flourish, approving two tax-credit bills worth millions of dollars aimed at spurring business development, and a revision of a controversial cash-aid program for poor families.
The 122-day session ended at 6:58 p.m., a rare daytime close from a Legislature that has extended debate late into the night and into the morning in recent years. Lawmakers applauded the daylight end as a sign of the more genial tone of this year’s Legislature.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Campaigns, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Economics, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Governor, Legislation, Party Politics, Taxes
For activists looking to channel their energy into something more productive than attending marches, their dance cards just got filled for the long hot Arizona summer. Time to get yourself a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
Last week former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods and former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson formed “Voters of Arizona” (no web site yet) to file referendums against the Chamber of Commerce organizations’ bills to effectively strip Arizonans of their constituional right to enact laws by citizens initiatives in Arizona. Expect to hear more about this in coming weeks.
Now the long anticipated referendum to overturn the “vouchers for all” bill passed by anti-public education Tea-Publcans in the Arizona legislature is ready to launch as well. The Arizona Republic reports, Parent group will seek to overturn Arizona school-voucher expansion:
Public-education advocates are launching a referendum campaign to halt the controversial expansion of Arizona’s school-voucher-style program.
Members of the group “Save Our Schools Arizona” said they will file paperwork this week and begin gathering signatures to refer their proposal to the November 2018 ballot. The group has planned a rally and news conference on Monday at 5 p.m. at the state Capitol.
Posted in Activism, Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Campaigns, Constitution, Corruption, Education, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Governor, Legislation, Party Politics, Political Events, Propositions, Scandals, Taxes
The Chamber of Commerce organizations got their lickspittle servants in our Tea-Publican controlled legislature and our “Koch-bot” governor to do their bidding in making it damn near impossible for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to make laws by citizens initiative. Buying a legislature and governor to do your bidding is the exclusive provence of our Plutocratic corporate overlords, and you will obey!
But now that this no good horrible legislative session is coming to an end, Former Attorney General Grant Woods and former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson are heading up a referendum campaign to refer up to three pieces of anti-citizen initiative legislation to the 2018 ballot.
Laurie Roberts of The Republic writes, Group filing to block initiative laws:
Memo to Gov. Doug Ducey and all of our esteemed leaders who worked so diligently this year to undermine one of our basic constitutional rights:
Not so fast.
Next week begins the citizen drive to overturn your efforts to make it more difficult, if not impossible, for Arizonans to exercise their right to make laws via initiative.
Voters of Arizona, a group headed by former Attorney General Grant Woods and former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, are filing paperwork this week to block all three new laws from taking effect until voters can decide their fate in November 2018. The group also plans to file a lawsuit challenging two of the three bills.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Civil Rights, Constitution, Corruption, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Governor, Legislation, Party Politics, Scandals
Tagged referendum, Tyranny, voting rights
The Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) is the principal chamber of commerce organization that has sought to defeat and to undermine Arizona’s Minimum Wage Act first approved by voters in 2006, and reaffirmed by voters in 2016.
The ARA was behind HB 2579, our Tea-Pulican legislature’s attempt to gut the 2006 Minimum Wage Act by narrowly redefining “wages.” The ARA participated in a failed legal challenge to the sufficiency of the 2016 Minimum Wage Initiative, and after the Minimum Wage Initiative was passed by voters, the ARA participated in the failed legal challenge to overturn the will of the voters.
The ARA’s position is always that the minimum wage (most restaurant workers are paid a sub-minimum wage and must rely on the kindness of strangers for tips) is devastating to restaurant businesses. The ARA always claims that a higher minimum wage will reduce employment in the restaurant sector.
While some marginal businesses teetering on failure may have closed due to higher wage costs, those businesses have been replaced by others that are competitive at the higher wage costs. And isn’t that what “creative destruction” in a free market economy is all about?
Howard Fischer reports today that employment in the restaurant sector has gone up since passage of the increase in the minimum wage. Food sector job growth outpaces state since wage hike on Jan. 1:
Remember those claims during the Proposition 206 debate that increasing the minimum wage would lead to less hiring and people being laid off from low-wage jobs?
The latest unemployment statistics suggest that hasn’t happened.
In fact, the data from the state Office of Economic Opportunity shows that the number of people working in bars and restaurants last month not only increased but did so at a rate six times higher than the economy as a whole. Employers who run food service and drinking establishments added 7,800 new workers compared with February, a 3.3 percent boost.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Campaigns, Economics, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Governor, Labor, Party Politics, Propositions
Tagged minimum wage