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
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
High-tech medical care at Banner University Medical Center
For the past 30 years, my career has focused on health promotion, disease prevention, behavioral research, and communications. I have seen, photographed, and written about the good, the bad and the ugly parts of our country’s healthcare “system”.
I saw the rise of HMOs (health maintenance organizations) in the 1980s. I cheered the Clintons for at least trying to fix the overly complicated mess in the early 1990s. I saw costs going up every year and service going down. I saw a health insurance system that was creaking under the weight of its own complexity, while big insurance and big pharma collected huge profits. As managing editor of the American Journal of Medicine, I stood proudly by the Editor-in-Chief when he and the Editorial Board called for Medicare for All on multiple occasions.
Along the way, I have heard stories about huge medical bills, uncompensated hospital care, outrageously expensive drugs, limited or delayed access to medical care, premature death and disease, medical bankruptcy, and the medical consequences of poverty.
Now, as a member of the Arizona House and the ranking Democrat on the Health Committee, I want to hear your stories.
Do you have concerns about the future of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and Kids Care? Is the cost of medical care or prescription drugs a worry for your family? How would dramatic cuts to these programs impact you? Come to the 200 Stories: Tucson Healthcare Forum on Oct 29.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Civil Rights, Community, Economics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Justice, Legislation, Pamela Powers Hannley
Tagged Dave Bradley, Dr. Randy Friese, healthcare, Kirsten Engel, pamela powers hannley, Steve Farley, Todd Clodfelter
Arizona Legislature, Democratic Caucus
Arizona House Reps. Randy Friese, Kirsten Engel, Isela Blanc and I will be participating in a public town hall, organized by the Arizona House Democratic Caucus, to discuss the budget proposals. The event will be held today, April 8, at the University of Arizona Modern Languages Building, Room 350. Doors open at 12:30.
We have seen Governor Doug Ducey’s budget, majority party’s budget, and the Democrats’ “Minority Report.” Come to the town hall and learn the details. The governor and the Legislative Republicans agree on some principles, but there are many decisions in play right now. Rep. Friese will be making the formal presentation, and the rest of us will be there to answer questions.
Here are some background links:
AZ Legislative Democrats FY18 Education Policy and Fiscal Priorities
Arizona House Democrats Say Their Budget Priorities Are Ignored By Republicans
ICYMI: Arizona Budget Town Hall in Flagstaff
Cross-posted from PowersForThePeople.net.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, Budgets, Economics, Education, Labor, Legislation, Pamela Powers Hannley, Pima, Political Calendar, Political Events, Taxes, Tucson
Tagged Dr. Randy Friese, Isela Blanc, Kirsten Engel, pamela powers hannley
LD9 candidates for House: Rep. Randy Friese, Pamela Powers Hannley and Ana Henderson
Rep. Randy Friese, Pamela Powers Hannley (me), and Ana Henderson– the three candidates for the two Legislative District 9 seats in the Arizona House– faced off on Friday night in front of a packed house for the LD9 Clean Elections Debate.
This was the first event– and perhaps the only event– in which voters got to hear all three candidates. Friese and I were the only LD9 candidates who appeared at the Pima County Interfaith Council Candidate Forum, the candidate forum sponsored by the UA pre-law candidate forum, the Arizona Daily Star candidate interview and Pride on Parade— besides all of the joint events with Matt Kopec during the primary. (OK, so Pride wasn’t a candidate forum, but many candidates turned out to show their support for the LGBTQ community and celebrate diversity.)
So– even though this is the first time that most of us got to hear Henderson talk, we learned a lot about her views. Climate change, reproductive choice, homelessness, corporate tax cuts, minimum wage, public banking, gun violence, and, of course, education– the three of us fielded a wide variety of questions from the audience last night. (I’ll link the full video when it is available on the Clean Elections YouTube channel.)
Here’s we learned about Ana Henderson at the debate.
She’s against raising the minimum wage. (She said it’s bad for business, and government shouldn’t be meddling in business– except to dole out more corporate welfare. In a town with a 25% poverty rate, too many workers are just scraping by in the gig economy. They can’t buy the goods businesses are selling if they have no expendable income.)
Posted in Abortion, Budgets, Campaigns, Debates, Drug Policy, Economics, Education, Elections, environment, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, IOKIYAR, Labor, Pamela Powers Hannley, Political Events, Tucson
Tagged Ana Henderson, climate change, climate change deniers, Dr. Randy Friese, education, LD9, marijuana legalization, minimum wage, pamela powers hannley, public health