Category Archives: Baja Arizona

Gov. Ducey’s budget fails to deliver, screws over Tucson and TUSD

Rebuffing the RedforEd protests by educators picketing the state Capitol, Republican lawmakers took the first steps Monday to providing a 9 percent raise this coming year for teachers. Arizona lawmakers take steps for 20 percent teacher pay hike, but not necessarily for all:

The final version of the budget deal negotiated between GOP leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey – no educators or even the minority Democrats in the legislature – puts $273 million into the $10.4 billion spending plan for the coming year specifically for teacher pay hikes.

But unlike Ducey’s original proposal, each school district would get its share in bulk dollars. That leaves it up to board members to decide how to divvy it up.

The Arizona Republic adds:

The additional money for districts would be based on a statewide teacher salary average of $49,000, Stefan Shepherd of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee told House Democrats Monday. Twenty percent of that figure is $9,800.

Districts will get a bundle of money based on that $9,800 figure multiplied by the number of teachers they reported having, Shepherd said.

But, Shepherd said that means districts with higher-than-average teacher salaries would not receive enough money to give all their teachers 20 percent raises.

Conversely, districts with lower-than-average salaries would receive more than enough to give teachers 20 percent raises.

And nothing in the budget bill would require the additional funds be spent on teacher salaries, Shepherd told lawmakers.

“There’s no language that says you have to give X percent pay raise,” Shepherd said.

In touting his plan on KFYI-AM last week, Ducey said, “Make no mistake. When we pass this plan, every teacher in the state will have a 20 percent pay raise by 2020.” (Yeah, he lied).

Last week Ducey said his offer meets the key demand of the educator groups whose members voted last week to walk out beginning Thursday. “So they know it’s been delivered on,” he claimed. No, it decidedly has not. Ducey’s budget “only partially meets one of the five stated demands made by protesters.” Facts still trump GOPropaganda..

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#ICYMI – Nucleus Club #LD9 Candidate Forum (video)

Pamela Powers Hannley

Talking about inequality and the stinky wages women make in Tucson.

Last Thursday, the Nucleus Club hosted the second LD9 Democratic Party match-up between the three candidates who will be on the primary ballot in August– Dr. Randy Friese, Matt Kopec, and me– Pamela Powers Hannley.

About 50 LD9 residents and party regulars attended the event at the Viscount. This was the fourth Democratic candidate forum that the club hosted during this election season; all were well-attended. Apparently, Democrats are no longer afraid of primaries because there are several this year: Congressional District 2 (Victoria Steele vs Matt Heinz); LD10 House race (Kirsten Engel, Stephanie Mach and Courtney Frogge), LD2 House race (Daniel Hernandez, Aaron Baumann and Rosanna Gabaldon), Pima County Superintendent of Schools (Dustin Williams and Michael Gordy), and my race in LD9.

Personally, I disagree with those who think primaries are a waste of money. I think they are a great idea. It gets the candidates out and allows different ideas to be heard. (Also, having almost no primaries int 2014 didn’t do us any good.)

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#LD9 on June 28: Debate of the Century (video)

Clean ElectionsWell, the Pima County Democratic Party didn’t exactly say that tomorrow night’s LD9 debate is the “debate of the century.” but they did say this…

Don’t miss two of the most highly anticipated debates this primary season!

LD 9: Rep. Randy Friese, Rep. Matt Kopec, Pamela Powers Hannley

June 28 – 6-8pm

Pima Community College NW Campus

7600 N. Shannon Rd, Tucson, AZ

LD 10: Rep. Stefanie Mach, Kirsten Engel, Courtney Frogge

July 28 – 6-8pm (Please note new date!)

Pima Community College District Office

4905 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ

Unlike other years, when the Dems didn’t have much choice in the primary, this year there are several Democratic Party primaries coming up on August 30.

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Broadway Widening… Again! How Many Times Do the People Have to Say ‘NO!’

Broadway Village Shopping Center, designed by Tucson icon Josais Joesler, is one of the most unique shopping locations in Tucson. It could be destroyed with the widening of Broadway.

Broadway Village Shopping Center, designed by Tucson icon Josais Joesler, is one of the most unique shopping locations in Tucson. It could be destroyed with the widening of Broadway.

UPDATE: About 200 Tucsonans came to the Tucson City Council meeting publicized below. The Arizona Daily Star reported that the city “got an earful” from residents who want a modest project on Broadway. The final City Council vote will be Tuesday, April 19.

Remember all of those public meetings in which the citizens of Tucson said they don’t want Broadway Blvd turned into a massive eight-lane highway?

Or how many times we said we wanted to keep valuable historic buildings on Broadway? Or how many times we said that following obsolete growth projects was a silly idea? Or how many times we said, “We’re widening Grant Rd., why widen Broadway, too?”

Well, apparently, we have not told the Mayor and Council, “Enough is Enough” enough times.

I thought the fight over sustainable development and modest expansion of Broadway had been won months ago when the citizens task force voted to go with a smaller foot-print for the widening– a plan that the neighbors and concerned citizens agreed with– but no. Developers, real estate speculators, and automobile promoters are putting pressure on the Mayor and Council to ignore the will of the citizens.

TONIGHT – April 5 at 5:30 p.m. is another major public hearing on the Broadway Widening Project. Note the location change. It will be at the County Board of Supervisors meeting room. Details from the Broadway Coalition, link to a petition to sign, and links to four years of past articles after the jump. 

Pima County goes to war with the state legislature over ‘transfer taxes’

Last month, the Arizona Supreme Court denied Pima County’s request for a Special Action (expedited court decision) in its challenge to the state of Arizona shifting tax burdens onto counties so that the state legislature could falsely claim that it had “balanced” the state budget. AZ Supreme Court denies special action for Pima County v. Arizona Legislature.

The Court’s action meant that: (1)  Pima County has to sue in Superior Court in the regular course of litigation which will take a lot more time, County, Ajo resident sue tate over taxshift, and (2) Pima County taxpayers will have to pay higher taxes this year that the state legislature shifted onto Pima County. Thanks for that Arizona Supreme Court!

lastgreatactofdefiancePima County is making an effort to make it abundantly clear to its county residents who is actually responsible for their higher tax rates this year: our lawless Tea-Publican Arizona legislature.

The Arizona Daily Star reports, New county tax statements highlight state funding shifts:

Pima County leaders have long complained that the state forces local governments to pay for state-provided services. Now they plan to make their case to every property owner in the county.

In this year’s tax statements, county officials plan to include a breakdown of how primary property taxes are spent, and how much of local collections support state services.

“Over the years, more and more things have been shifted to the county,” Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said.

Along with tax statements, the county plans to send a chart that shows as much as one-third of primary property tax collections, or more than $104.4 million this year, will be transferred to the state.

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