STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- Like it or not, there is no balance in Arizona state government with Republicans taking total control.
Soon the GOP will have the governor’s office, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, state schools superintendent, supermajorities in both the state House and Senate and control the majority of Arizona’s U.S. Congressional seats.
These are the people who made the biggest cuts to education in state history, laid-off thousands of Arizonans and cut health care for kids and seniors.
They wasted taxpayers’ time and money on frivolous lawsuits and wacky legislation like the birther bill and a ban on human-animal hybrids.
They may have total control in Phoenix, but Republicans also have no more excuses. They can’t blame Democrats, Independents, moderates or anyone else. No more hiding the fact that the GOP has held the majority in the legislature for more than 40 years.
They’re here and they’ll have to do something they've so far failed to do: lead our state through its financial crisis. They've run the state Legislature since the 1960s, but their recent failures tell it all:
· Instead of balancing the budget, they literally put their money on voter approval of Props. 301 and 302. They knew these proposed sweeps of early childhood education and state conservation funds would fail. But it was the excuse they needed for more drastic cuts down the road.
· Instead of protecting our schools from $1.1 billion in devastating cuts, they protected outrageous tax loopholes for big corporations and the rich.
· Instead of focusing on jobs, schools and the economy, they filled the legislative docket with ridiculous bills that wasted taxpayers' time and money.
Their wrong priorities and failure to balance the budget have left our state more than $800 million in debt, and that may double in the coming year.
With that will come more cuts to the things that we as Arizonans value the most.
Some Republican legislative leaders have said they are eager to decimate AHCCCS healthcare and cut off $7 billion in federal help for middle-class Arizonans, kids and seniors. This is unwise and unacceptable.
As a State Representative, I am part of a tough but small group of 20 House Democrats.
The Republican "supermajority" in the House will have the power to do whatever it wants, no matter what we do and no matter how we vote. Not even a governor's veto can stop them.
But I know why my constituents in Tucson re-elected me. I support hard-working Arizonans and make sure I work toward their priorities at the capitol. I represent real people in Tucson and I represent their priorities: jobs, schools and the economy.
We have to hold these Republicans accountable to make sure they do the job they were elected to do — work toward solutions.
This supermajority must be held accountable by all of us because its actions will affect all of us. House Democrats and I will hold Republicans accountable for their actions and we will fight for jobs, schools and small businesses to get Arizona’s economy moving again.
We are Arizona’s new watchdog.
Republicans own the budget mess they've created, and we must hold them accountable for their decisions. Arizonans deserve better than continued severe cuts to education and jobs.
The absolute top goal for Arizona has to be jobs and the economy. We need to support our small businesses and start the economic engine of Arizona moving again.
Arizonans are entitled to jobs, education, big corporations and the rich paying their fair share and real solutions to border security.
It’s time for accountability, and it’s way past time to get Arizona back on track.
- first posted Sat. Nov 13
UPDATES: Arizona Republic FACT CHECK: 'Brewer wrong' on transplants. Lives threatened due to Arizona GOP health care cuts. Rep. Chad Campbell: Jan Brewer and Republicans lying about transplants, cuts. More news on Arizona Republican Death Panels.