Democratic lawmakers last year introduced legislation to extend and expand Prop. 301, the education sales tax set to expire in 2021 unless renewed, but Republican leadership never granted it a public hearing or vote. I posted about Prop. 301 earlier this year. Pass HB 2158 to permanently extend Prop. 301 education funding (excerpts):
The education sales tax, which voters passed in 2000 as Proposition 301, is set to expire in mid-2021.
State Rep. Doug Coleman told The Arizona Republic that House Bill 2158 would essentially “get rid of the cliff” surrounding Prop. 301.
Prop. 301 is a 0.6 cent per dollar education-funding sales tax. Its future has been a point of contention and concern among education and business advocates and state leaders. The money funds things such as teacher salaries and classroom expenses.
The sales tax — and the hundreds of millions of school-funding dollars that come with it — will be gone unless voters approve an extension of the tax in the 2018 or 2020 election or two-thirds of the state’s 90-member Legislature pass legislation to maintain the funding.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Education, Ethics, GOP War On..., Governor, Legislation, Party Politics, Propositions, Taxes
The White House will release two documents on Monday: its much-ballyhooed infrastructure plan and its 2018 budget. Readers should file both documents under the genre of “science fiction.” The White House’s week of magical thinking.
The Washington Post reports, Trump’s big infrastructure plan has a lot of detail on everything but how to pay for it:
President Trump is poised to unveil a long-awaited plan Monday that aims to stimulate $1.5 trillion in new spending on the country’s ailing infrastructure over the coming decade, but many lawmakers in both parties say the president isn’t providing a viable way to pay for his initiative.
A year in the making, the proposal is an attempt to fulfill a marquee campaign promise and would rely heavily on states, localities and the private sector to cover the costs of new roads, bridges, waterways and other public works projects.
The plan calls for investing $200 billion in federal money over the coming decade to entice other levels of government and the private sector to raise their spending on infrastructure by more than $1 trillion to hit the administration’s goal of $1.5 trillion in new funding over 10 years. It also seeks to dramatically reduce the time required to obtain environmental permits for such projects.
The first jobs report of 2018 looks an awful lot like the jobs reports from the last several years. Steve Benen has the January jobs report, Job growth stays on course as 2018 gets underway:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the economy added 200,000 jobs in January, up a bit from December’s totals. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, which is very low.
Perhaps the most notable development in the report was the increase in hourly wage growth. Expect a spirited debate over the possible explanations for this, including the inevitable result of low unemployment, the Republican tax cuts, and the minimum-wage hikes that recently kicked in across much of the country.
Also note, once a year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes revised month-to-month job data for the previous year, and that’s reflected in today’s report. We now know that in 2017, the U.S. economy generated 2.17 million jobs – which is a pretty healthy number, though it’s lower than what Americans have seen in recent years.
The economy added 2.3 million in 2013, 2.99 million in 2014, 2.71 million in 2015, and 2.24 million in 2016, making 2017 the worst for job growth since 2012, when the economy added 2.17 million jobs.
First, the good news … because you really could use some good news these days.
The “Kochtopus” network trying to prevent the citizens referendum of the “vouchers on steroids” bill to privatize public education from appearing on the 2018 ballot lost in court on the first round. The trial judge dismissed the case saying “there is no legal basis for the challenge.” Dismissals for failure to state a claim are awful hard to overturn on appeal.
The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Voucher measure can go to ballot, judge rules:
A judge has refused to block voters from getting the last word on whether they want to expand a system of vouchers that uses public funds to send children to private and parochial schools.
In a six-page ruling made public Tuesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret Mahoney ruled that the law in effect last year when the referendum was filed did not give individuals the right to challenge petition drives. She pointed out it was repealed in 2015.
Mahoney acknowledged that lawmakers did vote to reinstate the individual challenge law last year. And that change took effect on Aug. 9, 2017.
But the judge pointed out that the petitions demanding a public vote were turned in on Aug. 8. Quite simply, Mahoney said, there is no legal basis for the challenge.
Posted in Activism, Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Ballot Referendas and Initiatives, Budgets, Campaigns, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Education, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Governor, Legislation, Media, Party Politics, Propositions, Scandals, Taxes