Saturday, January 15, 2011

Governor's proposed budget: tells home owners, poor, students, that she thinks that they're #1...

...only she that isn't her *index* finger that she's waggling in the air...

Corporations and their executives and lobbyists are smiling today.  The Governor released her budget proposal Friday, to loud praise from Republicans in the legislature, and louder criticism from Democrats...educators...students...human service advocates...home owners....

Her budget...

...transfers at least $62 million in tax burden from corporations to individual home owners

...seeks to deny health care services for 280K Arizonans, including the seriously mentally ill

..cuts another quarter BILLION dollars from higher education, all but ensuring more massive tuition hikes for Arizona's next generation

...forces Arizona's cash-strapped K-12 school districts, already reeling from years of state-level attacks on their fiscal stability, to absorb millions more in borrowing costs foisted off on them by the state's mismanagment

This is just the first step in what is likely to be a long process (but not as long as it could be - the Rs have supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature and will pass anything that they want to, even if one or two individual members of their caucus balks at the ugliness proposed by Jan Brewer and her lobbyist-advisers).

State Rep. Carl Seel (R-Minuteman) has already proposed an amendment to the Arizona Constitution to reduce the income eligibility level for AHCCCS (Arizona's Medicaid program), currently at 100% of the federal poverty level.

On Tuesday, there will be a meeting of the joint appropriations committees of the House and Senate in HHR1 at approximately 9:15 a.m.  At that time, they'll receive a presentation on the budget proposal from the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting.


From the Governor: the central web page on the budget is here; a presentation on the background of the budget here; a presentation on the budget proposal here; summary of the proposal here; a detailed version here; appendices are here.

Mary Jo Pitzl of the Arizona Republic has a story on the budget proposal here; Mary K. Reinhart of the Republic has a story here; Alia Beard Rau has an analysis of the proposal's effect on higher ed is here; Reinhart has a piece on public safety impacts here; an AZ Republic uncredited piece with more numbers and reaction from legislators and those affected by the proposal is here.

The Arizona Capitol Times has coverage also, but that coverage is behind a subscription firewall.


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