by David Safier

This from Tucson Weekly’s article, Going for Broke. Governor Napolitano has laid out her proposal for next year’s state budget, which involves borrowing money for school construction and going into the state’s rainy day fund. Her ideas have been in the papers for weeks, so that’s not news. Here is the only Republican proposal so far, according to the article:

The GOP’s only public counterproposal came from Rep. Russell Pearce, the head of the House Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Bob Burns, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. They want to slash university spending and health-care programs for kids, suspend school construction, eliminate dental coverage for low-income Arizonans and cut back on K-12 spending. That plan is a nonstarter even among other members of the GOP caucus.

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It sounds like Pearce and his anti-public-school buddies are positively salivating over the economic downturn. To paraphrase Club for Growth’s Grover Norquist, they would love to shrink school spending — and state health care — to the size where they can drown both services in a bathtub.

Add this to SB1002, that would permanently repeal a state property tax that has been temporarily suspended. The tax funds schools, folks. Doesn’t it sound like, if we have to cut school funding because of budget shortfalls, we need that money again? Unless, of course, you’re already in the process of filling that bathtub with water.

I promised only to blog about education, but while I’m talking about the Republican legislators, I can’t resist mentioning SCM 1002. Accoring to the Weekly, it “asks Congress to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and return to a system in which the Arizona Legislature would appoint U.S. senators rather than having them elected by Arizona voters.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, your Republican Legislators!

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