Saturday, April 18, 2009

Maybe it's not Texas, but Arizona that's like a whole other country.

Some highlights of the state budget that was passed by the state house of representatives by a unanimous vote:

*-- A 5.1% increase in spending (thanks to the use of federal stimulus funds without draconian cuts elsewhere)

*-- Increased scholarships for students whose families make less than $50,000 by 25%

*-- Expanded electric bill discounts for the poor

*-- Promotes the creation of a high speed rail line between two of the state's biggest cities

*-- Took money from the Governor's office budget to fund programs for veterans and the mentally ill.

*-- Gave most state workers, retired state workers and retired teachers a $1,000 one-time bonus

Wow, our house did that?? No, it was another state's house. A liberal, northeastern, high tax state then? No, it was TEXAS.

Granted this budget will have to be reconciled with the budget passed by the more conservative Texas Senate, but it shows that even in a conservative state it is possible this year to pass a progressive budget.

Except that here in Arizona our legislators give us a choice between draconian, more draconian and most draconian.

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