Executive Budget Public Hearing

    January 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
    PCC District Office Community Bd. Room
    4905 E Broadway Blvd
    Tucson, AZ 85709


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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. About 50 people present at this public hearing (on short notice) including PCC Governing Bd. member & Pres. Mark Hanna, Pima County School Superintendent Dustin Williams and former Supe Linda Arzoumanian, former Pima County Supervisor Paul Marsh. Governor’s District Director Juan Ciscomani welcomed all, then turned it over to Lorenzo Romero, Director of OSPB, who outlined the 2018 Budget, as “structually balanced”. Some figures: $460 M in rainy day reserve, $284 M balance brought over from 2016, 2% reserve growth in 2017 to grow to 4.4% in 2020, $453 M in education K to higher ed over 3 years, in addition to $318 M from Prop. 123, advocates increase in teacher pay in 2018 $68 M over 5 years, $1 B in research & capital investments to Universities plus $15 M one time general fund for high priority needs there.
      “The Executive recommends…” a lot more per Romero, even more to fight opioid epidemic and fund rural state parks. See all at http://www.azgovernor.gov or http://www.asospb.gov.
      Audience members were mostly negative about this budget including A.J. Flick (former Tucson Citizen reporter – citizens will lose healthcare w/ repeal of ACA, mistrust government), Lucy Messing (retired teacher – need all day K, replace $ from Prop. 123), Hiatt Simpson (ignores Prop. 301), Frank Berman (not mention transportation & rip- off of HURF funds), Robin Hiller (Voices for Education – high performing schools not picture of all students, can know standardized test scores by student’s zip code), Cynthia Jordan (consider high recidivism & Governor favors prisons for profit), Robin Steinberg (former PCC instructor – sales tax regressive, state workers should get Prop. 206 min. wage increase), Mark Hanna (will funds be restored to Pima CC and Maricopa CC?), Jason Freed (high teacher shortage, low per pupil funding, critical needs of schools not addressed), Leandra Price (“shell game, “get real” with budget), Sandy Agnosotti (?) regarding military assets, is drug prevention $ state wide?), Paul Marsh (get help/input from business community), and Paul Stapleton-Smith (keep cutting taxes will hurt economy overall). A male Hispanic former teacher/principal Dadida (?) emphasized importance of properly trained teachers and that students knew which teachers were important to them.

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