Arizona Congressional Delegation Vote on Ryan-Murray Budget Compromise

The US House voted this evening on the Ryan- Murray budget compromise passing it by a vote of 332-94-7.

Conservatives across the country lit up the phones and email servers with urges to oppose the budget deal. Here in Arizona, the calls made an impact on our House members.

The official roll call is in and the Arizona Congressional delegation voted as follows:

  • Ann Kirkpatrick (D) CD-1: YES to budget deal
  • Ron Barber (D) CD-2: YES to budget deal
  • Raul Grijalva (D) CD-3:  NO to budget deal because he didn’t like the Republican proposals
  • Paul Gosar (R) CD-4: NO to the budget deal
  • Matt Salmon (R) CD-5: NO to the budget deal
  • David Schweikert (R) CD-6: NO to the budget deal
  • Ed Pastor (D) CD-7: YES to the budget deal
  • Trent Franks (R) CD-8: NO to the budget deal
  • Kyrsten Sinema (D) CD-9: YES to the budget deal

Official Roll Call Vote

Be sure to contact your Republican congressman and thank him for voting NO against this budget which raised spending with no promise of future cuts.

Preschool on the 9th Floor

So yesterday Gov. Brewer threatened to veto all non-budget bills that aren’t already on her desk – no matter what.  “The governor has indicated to leadership that, outside of the bills that are on her desk now, she won’t sign any more bills until there’s a budget,” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said.

Anyone who pays attention to the AZ Capitol scene knows well her propensity to act like a four-year-old when she doesn’t get her way.  However, her newest negotiation tactic seems particularly reckless.

A few conservative members have suggested responding to her threat by immediately sending up HB2721, the CPS reform bill.  This approach is especially tempting since the bill is the bi-partisan consensus result of her own highly-publicized CPS Task Force from last fall.  She’d either cave and sign it, which would look weak, or veto it, which would look as childish…well, as her threat was.

The conservatives are trying to budget for the long term by keeping the state from having another budget meltdown in a couple of years.  Brewer wants to spend MORE than the Democrats.  Since she’ll be on her way out by then, she doesn’t really care much whether she leaves a funding cliff for the next administration.  For some reason, she wants applause from the K-12 and welfare spending lobbies.  She still hasn’t learned that no amount will ever be enough for the spenders.

If this is how she negotiates with her “friends”, it’s a wonder she ever accomplished anything as a legislator.

Not the Way Out

Not the Way Out

The budget crisis across the country is on everyone’s mind. Just this week, our national debt topped $15 trillion. In Arizona, our leaders are seeking ways to responsibly meet our own state budget needs.

As the Legislature searches for ways to balance our state budget, with some wanting to increase state revenues, I am becoming increasingly concerned that the expansion of gambling is being considered. Changing our state laws to allow casinos at racetracks – “racinos” – would dramatically change the character of our state and impact families.

Legislators shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of Arizona’s families. The harms of gambling, while not often discussed, are very real. You can read more of on this on the Foundations blog.

Thankfully, more than half of the members of the House and of the Senate indicated in CAP’s 2010 Voter Guide that they would oppose “Allowing slot machines and table games off Indian reservations.” I remain confident that they will stay true to their word and not allow gambling to expand.

Still a Long Way to Go
A few weeks ago, I told you that abortions in Arizona had dropped by 30% in September, according to newly released Department of Health Services data. This week, DHS released updated numbers showing that the decrease in numbers continues but not at the 30% pace originally reported. The good news is that abortions still dropped by 417 over the last three months compared to the same time period in 2010. No doubt the drop in abortions directly resulted from the court decision upholding the Abortion Consent Act, the enactment of Arizona’s ultrasound requirement, and Planned Parenthood’s ending abortion services at seven of their ten clinics.

The new data, however, deeply troubles me because 179 preborn children have been aborted at 20 and 21 weeks from January-October 2011, and children can survive outside of the womb at 20 weeks. It’s a sign of how much work remains when babies who could clearly survive outside their mother’s wombs are not surviving inside their mother’s womb.

Key Victory for Marriage Proponents in California
Finally, good news from California’s Prop 8 litigation! The California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the ProtectMarriage.com legal team can defend the state marriage amendment in court. You may recall that the state governor and attorney general both refused to defend the marriage amendment on behalf of the voters. Yesterday’s decision puts in place the strongest legal team to represent the right of voters to define marriage.

All eyes are on the Prop 8 case, Perry v Brown, as it likely will determine whether individual states have the right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman or whether the federal courts will take away that right.

Weak Arguments
Also this week, a federal court judge heard arguments from the state and the ACLU about a CAP-supported bill that disqualifies donations to organizations that provide, promote, pay for, or provide referrals for abortion from being eligible for the working poor tax credit. The ACLU, representing the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is arguing that Arizona should be forced to provide the benefit of the working poor tax credit to organizations that refer women for abortion.

CAP is supporting the state’s defense. On the Foundations blog this week, our Legal Counsel Deborah Sheasby explains why the ACLU’s case is based on weak arguments.

Will Gov. Brewer Veto (More) Conservative Bills?

ACTION ALERT / LEGISLATIVE REPORT

25 April 2011

Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

AFP-Arizona’s 2011 Legislative Scorecard (the 27th annual scorecard put out by AFP-Arizona and the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers) will not be published until this summer, and will end up scoring hundreds of tax, budget, and regulatory bills. But with the close of the 2011 legislative session on Wednesday, we are issuing a preliminary report on how Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona Legislature performed, based upon the bills having the largest projected fiscal impact on Arizona taxpayers, consumers, and producers.

Action Item—Possible Brewer Vetoes

At this point, it is unclear how Governor Jan Brewer will perform on this year’s Scorecard. She will do poorly if she follows the bad advice of the Arizona Republic’s editorial board and vetoes the municipal managed competition reform (SB 1322), the interstate health insurance competition bill (SB 1593), and the statutory spending limit (HB 2707). Vetoes on those three bills would land her below 50 percent, in the category of “Friend of Big Government.” If she signs all three into law, she will score in the high 70-percent range (“Friend of the Taxpayer”).

Please call and email Governor Brewer TODAY and ask her to sign those three bills.

To send Gov. Brewer an email, use her web contact page: http://www.azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp

To contact Brewer’s policy staff, send emails to Page Gonzalez (pgonzalez@az.gov), Eileen Klein (eklein@az.gov), Michael Hunter (mhunter@az.gov), and Don Hughes (dhughes@az.gov).

The phone numbers for Gov. Brewer’s office are (602) 542-1361 and (602) 542-4331

For a one-page pdf flyer you can print out and take to your neighbors/precinct residents, use this link: http://static.taxcutsforall.com//files/sb1322brewer.pdf

For more information about the three bills, use the links on this page: http://www.americansforprosperity.org/042511-gov-jan-brewer-veto-alert

Arizona’s Legislative Majority Performs Well

Overall, the typical Republican Legislator did a very good job on fiscal policy during the 2011 legislative session—thanks in large part to strong pressure from taxpayer activists and tea partiers. Except for a handful of outliers, Arizona’s GOP Senators and Representatives voted in favor of the following pro-taxpayer measures:

  • Balanced budgets for FY 2011 and 2012 that include minimal gimmicks and that put the state on course to retire debt;
  • Spending limit bills that would place obstacles in the way of out-of-control spending by future Legislators and Governors;
  • The most comprehensive municipal services privatization bill in the country;
  • Limits on property tax levy increases in local-government secondary taxing districts;
  • Creation of school choice education savings accounts for children with learning disabilities;
  • Expansion of Arizona’s existing school choice tax credit program;
  • Legislation to allow interstate health insurance competition in the individual health market;
  • Reform of state employee pensions, which are currently trending toward bankruptcy; and,
  • Transparency bills requiring local governments and school districts to post their budgets in prominent places on their websites.

For Gov. Brewer and for the typical majority Legislator, the high base scores resulting from the votes enumerated above may be pushed slightly higher on the final Scorecard, given that AFP-Arizona has yet to grade hundreds of bills with low point totals. Legislators introduced dozens of good bills this session, and some of them made it to the Governor’s desk. (Of course, there were also many bad bills with low point totals, and we will likely discover some fiscal landmines among the dozens of bills that were passed quickly in the closing hours of the session).

Although typical majority members in both chambers will score highly on the Scorecard, it appears that the typical Senator will do somewhat better than the typical Representative. Given preliminary estimates, the typical Senator will score in the high 80-precent range (“Champion of the Taxpayer”), while the typical Representative will score in the high 70-percent range (“Friend of the Taxpayer”). Senators will likely score higher in large part for the following reasons:

  • The Senate version of the budget included heavier budget cuts;
  • The Senate’s spending limit referenda were constitutional, voter-approved measures (making them very difficult for politicians to override), whereas the House spending limit bill that went to the Governor’s desk would be statutory (and thus could be set aside by simple majorities in the House and Senate); and,
  • The constitutional Paycheck Protection referendum (SCR 1028) failed to move in the House, having been supplanted by a version of the reform (SB 1365) that included unprincipled (and voter-unfriendly) carve-outs and that failed to get the necessary forty “emergency” votes in the House to prevent the government-worker unions from taking the flawed version of the bill to the ballot.

More about the Legislative Scorecard:

Use the link below to study AFP-Arizona’s scoring rubric (page 3), and to view hypothetical scores for Governor Brewer, the typical majority Senator, and the typical majority Representative (pages 4-6). For policy summaries of AFP-Arizona’s key bills, see pages 7-11.

http://static.taxcutsforall.com//files/afp2011lpr04-20-11.pdf

The AFP-Arizona Legislative Scorecard weights fiscal policy and regulatory bills according to their projected dollar impact to Arizona taxpayers, consumers, and producers ($1 million equals one point). The AFP-Arizona Scorecard does not grade bills relating to constitutional, electoral, moral/social, or criminal-law matters, except insofar as those bills are projected to have a clear and significant financial impact on taxpayers, consumers, and producers.

To view AFP-Arizona’s 2010 Legislative Scorecard and Legislators’ cumulative averages since 2005, go to this URL (be advised that this cumulative scorecard does not include this year’s votes): http://static.taxcutsforall.com//files/azlsc2005-2010final.pdf

Please Remain Vigilant!

Grassroots taxpayer activists and tea party members can help us greatly in promoting free markets by reminding Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona’s Legislators that we will hold them strictly accountable in 2011 and 2012. We hope that the AFP-Arizona Legislative Scorecard proves to be a very helpful tool for activists in demanding fiscal accountability from their elected officials.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
www.aztaxpayers.org
tjenney@afphq.org

 

How to Win Friends & Influence People…

Yes, I know, we’re ones to follow this prescription. But then again, we’re not the Governor and have an $11 BILLION budget to deal with.

This is sure to invite Republican challengers as the issue becomes “The Governor is willing to shut down the State in order to get her tax increase.”

Here is the link to the video clip.