by David Safier
The article needs a whole lot of deconstruction to decide whether the Gov really wants a tax hike to pass.
If the voters get a distasteful tax bill with tax hikes that hurt people who can least afford it, the thing will probably go down. And honestly, what's the chance we'll get a measure that raises taxes intelligently out of the governor's office? Then the Republicans can say, "See? People don't want tax hikes. It's time to cut more money from schools."
Another part of the measure she's talking about (this is all in the trial balloon phase) would remove voter protections placed on programs approved by ballot measures. This passage gives an idea of what would happen if the protections were lifted:
That means voter-approved initiatives such as First Things First are largely off-limits to legislative cuts. In 2006, First Things First succeeded in getting Arizona voters to approve an increase in tobacco taxes to fund a series of programs for early-childhood education. As of the end of fiscal 2008, the programs had more than $230 million in their coffers – funding now being eyed by Brewer's allies and legislators looking for alternatives to deeper cuts in other state services.
That's because, although First Things First and other programs born from initiative have been spared, legislators have been forced to find cuts amid the one-third of the budget uncovered by either initiative protections or federal, court or statutory mandates.
You can find more about Republicans' desire to steal money from children by raiding the First Things First fund here
Since lots of people who would be for tax hikes would be against removing the protections, the chances for the measure to go down increase.
(By the way, isn't there something that says a ballot measure can only be about one thing? Can it be written to include both tax hikes and removal of voter protections? Some one explain this to me, please.)
Brewer needs to look like a moderate for the 2010 governor's race. This may be a way to appear centrist without offending the anti-tax crowd. And the blame for the draconian cuts can be shifted to the voters. Neat trick, if that's what she's doing.