The fiscal situation in Arizona, at least for now, is very good.

For the second year in a row, there appears to be a record fiscal surplus as the state, according to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, has brought in more revenues than anticipated.

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If these numbers are largely accurate and if the economy remains in positive terrain,  then legislators should seriously consider funding areas that the state government has neglected or not fully appropriated for several years. These areas include:

  • K-12 Education
  • Community Colleges
  • Medicaid and Kids Care.
  • Infrastructure in urban, suburban, and rural areas
  • Assisting our most vulnerable.

This should not be a time to cut taxes again for the one percent or the largest state businesses.

Some of the candidates running to become part of the Arizona State Legislature have expressed support for critical investments in the state.

2020 Democratic State Senate Candidate for District 11 Linda Patterson commented that:

2020 Legislative District 11 Democratic Senate Candidate Linda Patterson

“Arizonans are living through a moment of huge upheaval… which is also a time of great opportunity! The moment demands that our policies reflect a deep understanding of our communities and the lives of everyday Arizonans. We all share struggles and inspirations. We must build the kind of state that works for all of us. And, not for the next year or two but for the next ten to twenty years!”

 

 

This includes:

Providing a Public School Educational System that can move from 48th in the nation to the top 10% of our nation.”

“Arizonans have joined together over the past two years to demand the public schools our students deserve! ALL students need a world-class education. Teachers need the financial resources to stay in the profession of which they are passionate. Communities know that a great educational system strengthens our economy with stronger wages for all, higher property values and the opportunity to attract businesses that pay living wages. We need to bring the Arizona Educational System out of the darkness of underfunding to that which can shine as a bright star that drives a new economy! This is a win-win initiative for all.”

“Addressing the Rural and Urban Economies of Pinal and Pima Counties”

“No matter where you live in Arizona an individual should be able to access opportunity and be able to thrive. Building economic opportunities provide that our residents can live healthy lives and to reach personal/professional goals.”

“It is imperative that the AZ Legislature strongly bolster these diverse economies, particularly in Legislative District 11. The need for investment in these areas is real and the research indicates there is much we can do! Water rights, infrastructure, continued research of crops that are healthy and sustainable in a desert climate and balancing the needs of farmers/ranchers and urban growth are examples of these pivotal issues.”

“The global economy will leave these counties behind if we fail to act strategically, now! Sluggish job growth, declining farm products, and shorter life expectancy are true possibilities. We need to renew and reimagine our possibilities so we can unleash the potential of these areas. By networking with community colleges, universities and business partners we can consider useful ideas for these economies. I am dedicated to providing leadership for exploring innovative ideas for the communities.”

Legislative District 20 Democratic State Senate Candidate Doug Ervin relayed that:

2020 Democratic Legislative 20 State Senate Candidate Doug Ervin

“It is welcome news that the state’s actual revenue collections exceeded the forecast for Fiscal Year 2019. Many current legislators will use this report to continue their misguided tradition of directing state funds to corporate tax giveaways and ideological programs. Instead, we should be, as Governor Ducey said, “learning from the mistakes of the past, exercising fiscal responsibility, [and] investing in the things that matter.”

“Let’s use some funds for healthcare needs in our state including better pay for those who care for our developmentally disabled population. Also, a mere $200,000 of the fund surplus could be used to address the critical need of providing pregnant women with dental care that will help protect babies.”

“We should be investing in roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects across our state by allocating funds to cities and counties. This will help make up for the often used budget-balancing gimmick of sweeping the Highway Fund (HURF) while spurring economic development and creating jobs.”

“As we all know, pre-K through post-secondary education is still drastically underfunded, so available revenue should be directed to public schools to replace outdated equipment, retain quality educators and provide our children with a safe place to learn.”

“Let’s welcome the additional revenue and use it responsibly to address real needs in our state.”

It is important again for the people to contact the Governor’s office and their legislators and express to them that it is time to put the state’s children, most vulnerable, teachers and education staff, health care system, and infrastructure before more tax cuts for the people in the one percent of income earners and large businesses.

It is time for the state to finally use any revenue surplus on the people, institutions, and projects that need it and not the ones who do not.

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