A standing room only crowd filled the IBEW Hall for the Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes Forum, hosted by PALF and PDA Tucson, with support from other unions and community groups.
#RedForEd lifted the veil from our eyes and put the issue of corporate tax giveaways front and center in the fight to restore public education funding in Arizona.
As many of you are aware, the Arizona Legislature is giving away more than $13 billion in taxes every year and using only $10 billion to run the state. It is not sound fiscal policy to use accounting gimmicks and 50 fund transfers to “balance” the budget. It is no surprise that the state owes K-12 education around $1 billion. Thanks to scheduled corporate tax cuts passed by the Tea Party*, beginning in 2011, Arizona’s corporations got to keep an extra $1 billion in 2017. These corporate tax cuts continue through 2019, even though we can’t afford them.
As a result of the anger and frustration that many Tucsonans feel about the Arizona Legislature’s performance, the Stop Thief! Let’s Restore Fair Taxes Community Forum drew a standing room only crowd of diverse participants.
The event opened with heart-felt testimonies from current high school students, who explained how school budget cuts have impacted their lives and their schools.
LD9 Rep. Randy Friese gave a detailed presentation on tax revenue and how it has been siphoned off by special interest groups and corporate tax cuts for decades. (Video here.)
LD9 Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley’s talk focused specific tax giveaway bills and the drama that swirled around the bills that passed and the ones that failed. (Video here.) Excluding any votes related to budget appropriations, all of the tax giveaway votes in the 53rd Legislature were bipartisan— with Democrats and Republicans on both sides.
Posted in Activism, Arizona State Legislature, Budgets, Community, Economics, Education, Ethics, GOP War On..., IOKIYAR, Justice, Labor, Pamela Powers Hannley, Political Events, Poverty, Taxes, Tucson
Tagged corporate sales tax loopholes, corporate welfare, Dr. Randy Friese, pamela powers hannley, tax cuts, taxes
HB2479 was was a sales tax exemption with an unknown price tag. Despite being hotly debated, it passed the House on a bipartisan vote.
LD9 House incumbents– Dr. Randy Friese and I– will be the featured speakers at the Stop Thief community forum on tax giveaways on July 31 at the IBEW Hall.
As many of you are aware, Arizona is upside down on its mortgage. Thanks to years of Republican tax cuts, our state gives away more than $13 billion in taxes and spends just $10 billion to run the state. For years, the people of Arizona believed the lie that our state is broke. Now the veil has been lifted. The people realize that our state has plenty of revenue. The problem is that the majority of our Legislators vote to give the money away–rather than spend it on much-needed services– like public education.
Austerity is a lie. Arizona has the money to fund public education. The problem is: the Legislature gives our taxes away. It’s time to end crony capitalism in Arizona.
When the Arizona budget comes up short because of the tax giveaways, loopholes, and sweetheart deals, Republicans cut funds from K-12 education, the universities, the community colleges, healthcare, and environmental protections. OR they suggest raising sales tax to fill in the budget gaps caused by tax cuts for the rich and for the corporations. (Unfortunately, some Democrats go along with more tax cuts for the powerful and more sales tax for the rest of us.)
The Arizona Legislature should be funding the People’s To-Do List– education, healthcare, infrastructure, and safety and security– not the corporate wish list.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Budgets, Community, Education, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Justice, Pamela Powers Hannley, Political Events
Tagged Arizona Legislature, Dr. Randy Friese, pamela powers hannley, tax, tax credits, tax giveaways
The eastern stop of the SunLink modern streetcar.
Four years ago, on a ridiculously hot July day, thousands of Tucsonans showed up to welcome the Modern Streetcar (AKA SunLink or affectionately “the trolley”) to downtown Tucson.
Tomorrow, July 28, Tucson will celebrate the streetcar’s steamy birthday with music and air-conditioned rides.
I won’t be downtown for the birthday party because I am giving a talk on the Equal Rights Amendment on Saturday night in Tubac, but I hope you all will check out the festivities and the live music on the streetcar and along the route. Below the fold are a few photos and a video from opening day.
Posted in Community, Economics, Energy, environment, Pamela Powers Hannley, Transportation, Tucson
Tagged downtown, infrastructure, mass transportation, pamela powers hannley, SunLink, Tucson, video
LD9 House incumbent Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley
The Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) organizes and hosts debates for all elections in which at least one Clean Elections candidate is running. In Legislative District 9, three of the five people running for office are Clean candidates: Jim Love, Victoria Steele and me. The other two people who are running for house– Rep. Randy Friese and J.P. Martin– are running traditional.
Since early ballots for the August 28 primary election will be mailed on August 1, the CCEC has been hosting many debates in the past month. On July 19, the LD9 candidates had their debate. (The LD9 video link is here and the embedded video is below. To watch other CCEC debates go here.)
CCEC debates include some questions that are asked of all candidates and other questions that are asked of specific people. I have annotated the debate with time stamps– in case you want to focus on particular topics. Since there were several audience questions about guns in schools, the environment and prison reform, I have grouped those questions and answers.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Budgets, Campaigns, Debates, Drug Policy, Economics, Education, Elections, environment, Gun Policies, Healthcare, Labor, Legislation, Pamela Powers Hannley, Party Politics, Political Events, Poverty, Primaries, Taxes
Tagged 2018 election, Arizona Legislature, Citizens Clean Elections Debates, Clean Elections, Dr. Randy Friese, J.P. Martin, Jim Love, pamela powers hannley, Victoria Steele, video
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.)
Posted in Abortion, Arizona State Legislature, Drug Policy, Economics, Education, Elections, GOP War On..., Gun Policies, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Legislation, Pamela Powers Hannley, Political Events, Taxes, Tucson, Water
Tagged #RedForEd, education, pamela powers hannley, Rio Nuevo, tax cuts
Remote-controlled drone delivery delivery devices were approved for use in Arizona by the Legislature.
On a lighter note, today’s video focuses on drone delivery devices. These are not flying taco copters. These are fancy ice chests on all-terrain baby buggy tires. Soon they will be making remote-controlled deliveries using our sidewalks, bike paths, intersections, and side streets with speed limits of 25 or less. Watch where you’re walking!
Watch the video below the fold.