Tuesday, February 21, 2012

AZ House Dems on GOPTeaParty's reckless budget

AZ Republicans Steve Pierce, Senate Pres., & Andy Tobin, House Speaker (right)

House Democrats disappointed by influence of special interests and lack of transparency, long term vision in Legislative Republicans’ Tea Party budget plan

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- House Democrats criticized Legislative Tea Party Republicans for offering a budget proposal – crafted behind closed doors and released to the public less than 24 hours before it was considered in committee hearings – that again favors special interests and lacks a long-term plan to help stabilize Arizona’s economy and prepare for future budget needs in an accountable way.

"Extremist ideologies and out-of-state special interests continue to dominate the Arizona Capitol," said Rep. Daniel Patterson (D-Tucson-LD29/LD3). "Republicans' reckless budget would cause further harm to jobs, education and the economy."

"This isn't a budget for Arizona. This is budget for an extremist, special-interest driven agenda,” said House Minority Leader and Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Chad Campbell (D-Phoenix, LD 15). “Nothing highlights this more than the fact that they completely remove oversight of taxpayer funded private prisons. All this will do is line the pockets of big out-of-state corporations with taxpayer dollars."

“There are so many opportunities wasted in this budget plan,” said House Minority Whip Anna Tovar (D-Tolleson, LD 13), who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Basically, the Republicans have created a big piggy bank where hundreds of millions of dollars that could be used to restore and stimulate jobs will sit unutilized.”

“This budget should be about creating jobs,” said Rep. Lela Alston (D-Phoenix, LD 15), who is also a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “We should be investing in capital improvements to schools and other critical infrastructure. We could restore health care to thousands of children and restore thousands of jobs in the process. We could pay down the debt we owe the school districts from the roll-over accounting gimmick. This budget plan addresses none of those priorities.”

Campbell said that House Democrats would be releasing a list of budget priorities this week that they will propose as floor amendments to the Tea Party legislators’ budget when it comes to the House Floor for Committee of the Whole consideration.

House Democrats pointed to many bills and policy proposals they have put forth to stimulate economic development through modest expenditures or targeted tax incentives that could be funded in this budget to immediately create jobs and produce more tax revenue.

See this link for the “House Democrats introduce bills to create jobs, boost economy” press release for specific examples and more information.

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