Right now, the most important thing you can do for our community is to sign – and ask your friends to sign – six petitions to help pause disastrous budget bills the legislature passed in June. I’m working with grassroots groups Invest in AZ Now and AZ Deserves Better who racing to gather 150,000 signatures before the end of this month.
While we elect legislators to set policy and priorities for our state, in fact, as citizens, YOU have the ultimate say. And right now, your signature on several petitions is pivotal to making sure you can indeed have that final say on bills passed in this year’s legislative session that create tax loopholes for the wealthiest Arizonans that will cut billions of dollars in state revenue needed for schools, infrastructure, solutions for the water shortage crisis, and other essential state responsibilities AND
threaten your sacred right to vote.
Business leaders, parents, grandparents, and others across Arizona are demanding that our state invest in education. The way to build a strong economy is to make sure we have a strong, educated workforce. Yet, the Arizona legislature’s on-going failure to adequately fund our public schools has left us ranked 49th in the nation in per pupil funding, resulting in crumbling school buildings, inadequate resources, and a severe teacher shortage. It’s criminal.
With an unexpected revenue surplus this year, we finally have the chance to address long-neglected needs in education, infrastructure, healthcare, and other state responsibilities that benefit every Arizonan. Unfortunately, even though Republicans hold only the slightest majority in the House (31-29) and Senate (16-14), they continue to exclude all Democrats (who represent nearly half the electorate) from budget discussions. That’s just wrong.
I take seriously my job to represent you in the legislature, and to communicate back what’s happening at the Capitol. Unfortunately, Republicans have completely excluded Democrats in creating a partisan budget for our state (though we represent almost half the voters). The centerpiece is a flat tax plan that would give a PERMANENT $1.5 billion annual cut mainly benefitting the wealthiest Arizonans while neglecting our promise of opportunity and a thriving economy for everyone.