Unfortunately, both the Arizona House and Senate have passed a budget that includes the 2.5% flat tax along with a number of other reprehensible provisions. There are some slight differences and the legislature will reconvene on Monday, June 28 at 11:00 AM to work on establishing a reconciled common budget package that can be sent to the Governor to be signed. All this has to be done by midnight on June 30 or Arizona Government will shut down.
Just how bad is this? Here’s highlights of items in one or both of the House and Senate versions:
- Massive tax cut for the rich – 44% of the total $1.9 Billion tax cut or $760 million goes to 9,600 people who make over $1.0 million per year or 0.3% of AZ tax filers – an average tax cut of $79,000 each for these 9,600 people. A provision that was passed by one vote (all Republican) and can not be overturned without a 2/3 supermajority in the legislature – something that may not happen for generations. Medium income in Arizona is $51,000 and their portion of the tax cut will be $98.
- Through a variety of tax law changes the new budget allows wealthy individuals to avoid the Prop 208 surtax to fund education to such an extent that the surcharge will likely only raise less than half of the nearly $900 million hoped to be raised for schools.
- An ESA voucher expansion bigger than was in Prop 305 (defeated by the voters) – may not make the final version.
- Provisions to muzzle teachers who try to discuss issues of race or equality.
- Unnecessary election changes in support of the Big Lie including expensive watermarked ballots that our current elections equipment cannot currently process.
- A “Fraudit” task force to enable future changes to elections law.
- Investigating social media for any bias toward Democrats or against Republicans.
- A civilian-free police misconduct civilian review board.
- Allowing police to be the decision makers on what body camera footage gets released to the public.
- Removing the Democratic Secretary of State’s authority to defend state election law procedures and giving it to the Republican Attorney General (but only until the next election in case the parties change).
- Banning the Secretary of State from hiring outside counsel to defend the office in electoral matters.
- Banning state universities from requiring masks or taking any precautions to protect their students from COVID.
- Funding a pilot program to push women in crisis to fake pregnancy clinics run by religious groups that offer limited services and no abortion counseling.
There are two (2) measures in addition to the budget that will be discussed and potentially voted on when the Legislature reconvenes tomorrow.
USE RTS 2.0 AND CONTACT OUR LEGISLATORS ON THESE TO EXPRESS YOUR OPPOSITION!!!
SB1844 – OPPOSE – Would increase the dollar-for-dollar tax deduction for 529 accounts by changing it from “per taxpayer” to “per beneficiary”. This would allow the tax deduction to be $4,000 per child instead of per household. In addition, Trump’s 2017 tax cut bill allows 529’s to be used for K-12 schools and not just college. Hence, this is another way to defund public schools and to use tax dollars to allow the wealthy to pay for their children’s private schools.
HCR2016 – OPPOSE – Would put on the next ballot a proposition to change the Arizona constitution so that any ballot measure – citizen initiatives, referendums, and constitutional amendments – would need to get 55% approval votes to pass. This threshold would have caused multiple ballot measures already passed to have failed – such as Invest in Ed, medical marijuana, the minimum wage increase and the Voter Protection Act.
Here is the contact information for our Legislators:
LD 6 – Wendy Rogers 602-926-3042
LD 7 – Jamescita Peshlakai 602-926-3160
President Karen Fann 602-926-5874
Majority Ldr Rick Gray 602-926-5413
LD 6 – Walt Blackman 602-926-3043
LD 6 – Brenda Barton 602-926-3421
LD 7 – Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren 602-926-3069
LD 7 – Myron Tsosie 602-926-3157
Speaker Russell Bowers 602-926-3128
Majority Ldr Ben Toma 602-926-3298
CONTACT THE GOVERNOR AS BILLS MOVE TO HIM TO SIGN
IT IS BEST TO CALL HIS OFFICE TO VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION – 602-542-4331.
IF YOU TWEET – SEND YOUR OPPOSITION VIA TWITTER – @DOUGDUCEY
(He hates to get Tweets it seems!!)
USE RESISTBOT as well:
- Click on “Messages” on your iphone
- Type in 504-09 and hit send
- Type in “Resist” and send
- Follow requests for information that appear
- Select the person you want to send a message to – legislator, governor, etc.
- Draft your message and hit send
- Resist bot takes care of the rest.