Category Archives: Taxes

What Did the 53rd Arizona Legislature Accomplish? (video)

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley with Handmaids

Handmaids visited the Arizona Legislature frequently in 2018. Here they are on opening day with Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley.

It has been a little more than a month since the 53rd Legislature ended with a 40-hour marathon, passing the budget in the middle of the night, under the watchful eye of Red for Ed teachers and supporters.

What did the Legislature do in the 53rd Session?

  • We passed the comprehensive Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, to attack the opioid epidemic in Arizona.
  • We passed dental therapy, expanding access to affordable dental care for urban and rural residents and creating new healthcare jobs. (Video.)
  • We stopped several corporate tax giveaway bills that would have further drained the general fund and taken money from public education. (Video.)
  • We stopped an untested technology from being used on Arizona workers. After Uber and Theranos, hopefully we have learned our lesson on putting untested technologies into statute. (Video.)

What didn’t we do?

  • We failed to adequately fund k-12 public education, community colleges or the university system. In fact, the Republican response to the Red for Ed movement was to make 50 fund transfers to pay the teachers a bit more (but not as much as they deserve). It’s time to restore k-12 public education funds for personnel and infrastructure to pre-recession levels. Funding education is economic development. (Video.)

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Jennifer Samuels looks to Ride the Red For Ed Wave to a State House Seat in LD 15

LD 15 Democratic State House Candidate Jennifer Samuels

After sorting out which Starbucks to meet at on Tatum Road in Northern Phoenix, Jennifer Samuels enthusiastically relayed why she wants to become one of the Democratic nominees for one of the LD 15 State House Seats in August and ride the Red for Ed Wave to victory in November where she can promote a forward-looking agenda.

LD 15 includes parts or all of Peoria, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, and Deer Valley. A Democrat has not recently won in this district and Mrs. Samuels is hoping, with her ideas and supporters, to change that and win this November after winning a slot in the Democratic primary this August.

If she wins in the August primary, her two likely Republican opponents will be conservative advocates State Senator Nancy Barto and House Majority Leader John Allen, two reactionaries who, according to Mrs. Samuels, have lost touch with the people in their district, and who feel it is appropriate to sell firearms without background checks, to intrude on a woman’s privacy if she is exercising her right to choose, and to hinder the democratic process by making it harder to put ballot initiatives up for a vote.

Mrs. Samuels feels she can be a better advocate for the people in LD 15 and is running on a pragmatic problem-solving agenda that emphasizes education, school safety, and the economy.

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LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland sees 2018 as a Referendum on Public Education.

Educator and Democratic LD 23 State House Candidate Eric Kurland

Democrat Eric Kurland described his reasons and goals for seeking one of the LD 23 State House seats from orthodox conservatives John Kavanagh and Jay Lawrence.

Over breakfast at the Scottsdale restaurant Randy’s (very good food and service) at Chaparral and Hayden, he said he was motivated by his advocacy for children and the misdirection of our Dark-Money-serving Republican state leaders in promoting private school vouchers rather than fully funding public education, Kurland, an educator with the Scottsdale Unified School District, has launched a campaign, fueled by his army of education supporters, emphasizing education, campaign finance reform, and reforming the private prison system.

A legislative district that encompasses all or parts of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, and Rio Verde, there has not been a Democratic representative from LD 23 in recent years. Eager to break that trend, Kurland will be running for one of two state house seats against incumbent State Representative Jay Lawrence and Senate Pro Tempore John Kavanagh.

Kurland feels that both Lawrence and Kavanagh are on the “opposite end” of what the people who elected them want, living in “an ivory tower who do not feel the pulse of what a community requires.” If elected, Kurland states, that unlike his opponents, “it will not be the last time they (the people) will hear from him.”

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Paul Ryan plots his final battle in the GOP’s war on the poor

The GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin” who is leaving Congress at the end of his term — Dude, pack the moving van, I’ll come drive your shit back to Janesville for you this weekend! — is plotting his final battle in the GOP’s war on the poor. This evil GOP bastard can’t leave soon enough.

Politico reports, House GOP budget sets up massive safety net cuts, Obamacare repeal bid:

House Republican budget writers debuted an ambitious deficit-reduction plan Tuesday that would force GOP committees to cut at least $302 billion over a decade and potentially lay the groundwork for another repeal vote on Obamacare.

The GOP’s sweeping budget plan is the first step toward a filibuster-proof bill [under budget reconciliation rules] that could result in real reductions to popular programs like federal student aid or low-income family block grants.

It could also deliver on conservatives’ decades-old promise to rein in entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

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AZ’s Worst Legislator: Don Shooter Disgraces the LD 13 Senate Race

Expelled LD 13 State Representative Don Shooter, one of the worst examples of public servants in Arizona.

Over the last week, the GOP which regularly touts its commitment to inclusion and family values has nominated a self-admitted white nationalist and Confederate supporter to run for the Senate in Virginia and a brothel owner to run for a Congressional seat in Nevada.

With examples such as these, it should be no surprise that an individual expelled from the Arizona State House of Representatives for sexual harassment would think he would have an opportunity to elevate himself to the Arizona State Senate.

Like many reactionary and self-absorbed members of his party, Don Shooter is one of the worst examples of public servants in Arizona.

In some ways, Democrats should hope he gets the nomination. Shooter, along with “let’s take away your rights” Vince Leach,  “ISIS is going to invade us from Mexico” Mark Finchem and “There are not enough white kids” David Stringer are poster candidates for why the Democrats need to return to power. However, decency prevails and the residents of LD 13 should not reward bad behavior and allow Shooter to run for the State Senate.

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As Mayor, Kate Gallego will Make “Make Phoenix a City that Will Work for Everyone.”

Phoenix Council Member Kate Gallego.

Phoenix Council Member Kate Gallego.

With popular Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton resigning his office to run for Kyrsten Sinema’s Ninth Congressional House Seat, a special non-partisan election will be held this November to elect his successor who will preside over the fifth largest city in the country.

There are two Phoenix Council Member Democrats vying to succeed him. They are Kate Gallego (who represents Phoenix District Eight) and Daniel Valenzuela (who represents Phoenix District Five). The Blog For Arizona is profiling both candidates and interviewed both on their positions and their vision for moving Phoenix forward. This piece describes Councilmember Gallego’s goals and vision for the fifth largest city in the country.

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