Category Archives: Transportation

While you were sleeping, AZ legislature passes Ducey’s immoral budget

After a marathon session of back room deals and arm twisting among Tea-Publican legislators — to the exclusion of the Democratic minority who represent over 40% of Arizonans — Arizona’s Tea-Publican controlled legislature approved a budget in the wee hours of Friday morning when only a handful of reporters were left watching their dirty deed. This is how one-party autocracy works in Arizona.

“A budget is a moral document.” Ducey’s budget is immoral.

The Arizona Republic reports, Arizona lawmakers pass $9.8 billion budget:

Arizona lawmakers passed a $9.8 billion budget early Friday that provides 2 percent pay hikes for public-school teachers, a modest income-tax cut for residents and $1 billion in extra bonding authority for the state’s public universities.

The final spending plan for fiscal 2018 featured key elements Republican Gov. Doug Ducey outlined in January, as lawmakers began their work. But it also underwent significant changes at the hands of Republicans in the House and Senate. No Democrats voted for the budget.

“Arizona has passed a budget that prioritizes education, boosts teacher pay, and invests in our universities — all without raising taxes on hardworking Arizonans,” Ducey said in a statement minutes after the budget won final approval at 3:55 a.m. “For the first time in a decade, we are making significant and lasting investments to grow our state.”

Ducey won’t receive the budget bills until Monday, when the Senate is scheduled to send the final documents to his office. He is expected to sign them.

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What Wall Street Costs America: Say ‘No’ to Wall Street Fees with Public Banking

Arizona’s total debt service rose 94% between 2007-2014. Why is the state paying $312 million per year in interest on Wall Street debt when we could self-fund projects with public banking?

Arizona’s total debt service rose 94% between 2007-2014. Why is the state paying $312 million per year in interest on Wall Street debt when we could self-fund projects with public banking?

The cornerstone of my economic reform ideas is establishment of public banking at the state, county, and/or municipal levels.

In a nutshell, public banking advocates believe that austerity is a lie and that budget-cutting and layoffs by governments is unnecessary and harmful to citizens. There is plenty of money. The problem is that our taxpayer funds are held in too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street and invested for the benefit of the banks’ shareholders– instead of being held here in Arizona and invested for the benefit of the citizens of Arizona. Public banks invest on Main Street for the public good — rather than allowing OUR MONEY to be gambled (and potentially lost… again) on Wall Street.

There are many ways a public bank could be constituted. For example, in my speech to the LD9 precinct committee members, I suggested taking 10% of the state’s surplus rainy day funds and using that to establish an infrastructure bank. This state bank could self-fund much needed improvements and new roads to make the state more competitive and easier to traverse. It also could lend money to counties and cities to build their projects. In turn, the state would make a modest interest rate on the loans.

Creation of a state public infrastructure bank would address several economic problems in one fell swoop:

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The real trick to making America great again

Cross posted from RestoreReason.com.  There is a path to getting America back on track, but it has nothing to do with whom we elect to be our next president. The singular most significant action each of us can take this year is to demand the members of Congress put the good of the country ahead of partisan gamesmanship and special interests. And, if they don’t, vote them out of office!

Here’s the deal. Experts agree the best way to get out economy moving again is for the Federal government to invest big in repairing the country’s infrastructure. It is up to the government to do it because of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calls “a deficiency of aggregate demand, brought on by a combination of growing inequality and a mindless wave of fiscal austerity.” Basically, no matter how much they spend, the wealthy just can’t spend enough to adequately stimulate the economy. At the same time, as of the second quarter of 2015, corporate America had more cash on-hand that the economies of Belgium and Sweden combined ($1.43 trillion for S&P companies excluding those in the financial sector.) Tech companies are especially cash rich with Microsoft having $96 billion in cash, Google $70 billion and Cisco $60 billion. Although this hoarding means companies are positioned to weather tough economic times, it hurts the economy (especially since most of this money is held in off-shore accounts to reduce tax liability.)

We are all aware that our country’s infrastructure is in bad shape. Are roads are pothole laden and our bridges are structurally unsound.   The most recent Infrastructure Report Card from the Americans Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives our Nation’s infrastructure a D+, and states that we need to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 just to get it up to standard. The number one solution toward beginning to raise the grade according to ASCE is to “increase leadership in infrastructure renewal” and the organization maintains, “America’s infrastructure needs bold leadership and a compelling vision at the national level. Continue reading

ALEC 2015 States and Nation Policy Summit in Scottsdale today

Cartoon_07Governor Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, will be welcoming the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to the hub of the “Kochtopus” evil empire in Scottsdale, Arizona today for the 2015 States and Nation Policy Summit.

The Agenda has Governor Ducey speaking at the luncheon today at Noon.

The Breakfast meeting for Thursday features former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. The Thursday luncheon speakers include about to be impeached Maine Governor Paul LePage, and president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks.

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Powers for the People: Pamela Powers Hannley Seeks LD9 House Seat

Pamela Powers Hannley

Pamela Powers Hannley, MPH

Yes, indeed, as has been hinted on this blog, I am running for the Arizona House to serve Legislative District 9.

No, I don’t need a psychiatric evaluation.

I’m running because I’m tired of government against the people. I am running for the Arizona Legislature because I want to bring back government of the people, by the people and for the people. Republican Party policies have starved the Arizona economy and thrown many citizens into financial ruin.

GOP leaders bow to dark money donors and ignore the needs of Arizona workers. They have repeatedly cut taxes for the 1% and for corporations, while allowing the people of Arizona to toil away for chronically low wages, that are well below national standards. Their policies have hindered Arizona’s competitiveness by allowing our roads and bridges to crumble and by whittling away k-12 education, vocational education, community colleges, and universities.

Arizona has been stuck in a ditch since the Tea Party took over in 2010. It’s time to take back our government, end austerity policies that are hurting Arizona families, and get back on the road to prosperity.

My slogan is “Powers for the People” because I will work for you… real people… not for corporate people. I am proud to run as a Clean Elections candidate because I believe voters– not money– should decide who runs our country.

I am running on a platform that focuses on ending wasteful spending, raising revenue, and saving money to fund jobs, infrastructure, and education. Learn more after the jump.

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33rd Annual El Tour de Tucson on November 21

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“Welcome to El Tour – Your Path. Your Story.
The Tucson Medical Center 33rd El Tour de Tucson presented by Casino Del Sol Resort is a bicycling event for cyclists of all ages and abilities who ride 104, 75, 55 or 40 miles in the main event or 11, 5 or 1/4 miles in the Fun Ride or for minutes not miles in Indoor El Tour.

~ Happy cycling!

The Routes

Cyclists pedal main event distances of 104, 75, 55 or 40 miles or choose the Fun Ride  of 11 or 5 miles or a fun 1/4 mile activity course.  Main event routes feature vistas of Tucson’s beautiful four surrounding mountain ranges – three rise over 9,000 feet- against the backdrop of the majestic Saguaro cactus, icon of the Sonoran Desert. Course profiles range from flat to rolling or moderately hilly. The 40-mile route is mostly flat and has become a great family affair or a perfect first event for beginners! Two often dry but sandy river crossings will greet 104-mile riders, while 75-milers experience just one.  All routes offer aid stations with water and snacks spaced about 7-10 miles apart, police support at intersections and plenty of morale-boosting volunteers and spectators. The Fun Ride offers easy and scenic routes along the Santa Cruz River multi-use path.

The Finish

The 104-mile start line (and finish line for all events) is located at Armory Park across the street from Children’s Museum Tucson on South 6th Avenue at 13th Street. Crossing the finish line ushers the riders into the next event-El Tour Downtown Fiesta! First order of business for cyclists:  collect a special finisher’s medallion based on their finish time. Next, celebrate with family and friends at the Fiesta complete with non-stop music, theBeer Garden, food vendors, El Tour Perimeter Store merchandise, kids activities, the Grand Cycling Awards Ceremony, and more!”

All information on registration, events, activities online at www.perimeterbicycling.org or  http://www.perimeterbicycling.com/el-tour-de-tucson/