Monday, March 15, 2010

That sound you hear?

It's the sound of Republican legislators sharpening their knives in preparation for another round of gutting Arizona's future...even before the current round has been finalized by the Senate.

From -

The Legislature finished the heavy lifting on the state budget Thursday, but returns today to wrap up work on two bills in the Senate.


Brewer won't get the budget bills until lawmakers end their special session, which is likely to happen today. She has indicated she'll sign the bills, which cut $1.1 billion from state programs, ending many of the services - such as the cash-assistance program - permanently.

The remaining work concerns two bills. House Bill 2013 would repeal a tax credit given to businesses to defray the cost of complying with state sales-tax collections.

House Concurrent Resolution 2001 would send a repeal of First Things First, an early-childhood education and health program, to the November ballot. Lawmakers want voters to abolish the program and redirect the $325 million it generates from a special tobacco tax to the state general fund.

Both bills passed the House but were collateral damage in the Senate, where tempers flared as the budget debate wore on Thursday.
And the really instructive party of the article -

"One deficit down, another one to go - the jobs deficit," said House Speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa.

He is pressing for quick work on his bill that cuts taxes and offers various incentives to attract manufacturing jobs to Arizona. House Bill 2250 cleared the House six weeks ago, but Senate President Bob Burns held it up until the budget was completed.

The bill's various tax cuts would take effect beginning in July 2011, at an estimated cost to the state general fund of $171.5 million. By 2017, when the bill is fully in effect, the cost would be $941.8 million a year, according to an analysis by legislative budget staff.

The estimates don't include the money that new jobs would generate in Arizona as it is hard to predict future job growth.
Gotta love those Rs - the costs to Arizona/benefits to their corporate patrons are clear ($941 billion/year by 2017) while the benefits to Arizona (jobs) are too "hard to predict", so there is no cost/benefit analysis to justify the bill, only ideology to drive the R support of this mess.

This session has cut approximately $1 billion from the state's budget, and the Rs are pushing a bill that would necessitate that again...and again, and again.

Welcome to Arizona, where partisan ideology trumps fiscal reality.

Right now, HB2250 hasn't been assigned to a committee in the Senate, and that would be the first sign to indicate that Senate President Bob Burns is allowing it to go forward.

Look for such a move shortly after the Senate finishes its special session budget work, possibly later this week so it can be heard in committee before the end of the month.

More later...

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