Monday, January 26, 2009

Democrats To Hold Public Hearings On State Budget

There will be a series of public hearings across the state so that members of the public talk to their legislators about the state's budget crisis and the proposed solutions to it.

From a joint press release from both the House and Senate Democrats -

Legislative Democrats to hold budget hearing in Phoenix

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (Jan. 26, 2009) – Legislative Democrats invite members of the public to a budget hearing in Phoenix, the second of five hearings that will be held statewide.

Members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees will be in attendance to hear citizens’ concerns of the deep cuts in the state’s budget.

When: Thursday, Jan. 29, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Grace Lutheran Church, 1124 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

Legislative Democrats will also hold hearings in Yuma on Feb. 2, 7 to 9 p.m. at Arizona Western College, 2020 S. Ave. 8E, Yuma, Ariz., in the College Community Center, in Tucson on Feb. 4 (location to be announced) and in Flagstaff on Feb. 9 (location to be announced).

I'll try to attend the Phoenix meeting (schedule permitting) but urge everyone who is concerned about the draconian budget cuts proposed by the Republicans in the lege to attend the meeting closest to you. It is vital for all of us to let our legislators know that sacrificing the future of Arizona on the altar of blind ideology is *not* an option.


Thane Eichenauer said...

Having to work the hours listed I will not be able to show up to Grace Lutheran Church (I am not above learning or at least listening).

I wonder though how many realistic options there are beyond reducing overall spending. Reducing spending somewhere else is fine by me, but exactly where? Raising taxes isn't fine by me but I don't spit at those who might suggest it.

Hoping that somehow just staying the course is going to somehow, someway, going to address the problem of too much spending plus not enough taxes flowing in seems to be the only agreed upon option I've noticed.

Best wishes to finding a better solution than reducing government education spending.

My preferred target is to reduce AZ DOC spending by letting out 10%/20%/50%/90% of the non-violent inmates (and yes, some guards and staff would need to be laid off too) and an end to the war on people who choose to use drugs.

cpmaz said...

For once we are in near-agreement.

Reducing spending is necessary, though the meat cleaver that Kavanagh/Pearce/Burns want to take to education is just stupid.

As for non-violent offenders and the DOC, well, I promise you that the folks running the lege these days would rather see 1000 people in prison cells than one student in a classroom.

Yes, I'm a partisan hack, but what these guys are doing to the state goes way beyond normal ideological differences.

Thane Eichenauer said...

Not that I thought you were kidding but I took a moment to lookup Mr. Kavanagh's 2008 position questionnaire at the Arizona Republic and found this lovely quote:

Name one state agency or program you believe gets too little money. Why?

The Department of Corrections does not get enough funds. Its officers need better pay and its prisons need better staffing and maintenance. Expanded and improved rehabilitation programs are also needed. I suspect it is underfunded because prisons are out-of-sight and unpopular.


The solution is obviously to relocate prisons into town and make them popular. I wonder what his plan is on that?

I am sure he could elucidate a bit but he sure doesn't sound open to reducing their budget (at least as of when he was filling out this questionnaire).

cpmaz said...

Nice research there.

The scary part about Kavanagh is that while he is as bad as Pearce ideologically (IMO, anyway) he's actually very intelligent and has spent all of his working life employed by one or another taxpayer-funded agency (Port Authority Police in NY/NJ, Scottsdale Community College).

If anyone in his caucus in the lege should understand the damage that they are seeking to inflict upon AZ, he's the one.

Thane Eichenauer said...

Ya better watch it CPM, admitting that Republicans can be intelligent will get you black-balled from the extreme left wing cotillion.