Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Endgame: call these two senators about the budget

The latest on the budget is that the next 48 hours will likely determine whether they get a bad budget passed or if the Governor and GOP leadership will finally have to negotiate with Democrats (perish the thought.) You know it's bad when even Robert Robb agrees that the Republican leaders have negotiated in bad faith.

They have managed to get Sen. Harper on board their bad budget (I assume that means if it passes then some state employees will be fired just for the sake of 'shrinking government' by firing some people, since that was the main condition he insisted on.) Otherwise the budget looks a lot like the versions that Governor Brewer vetoed on July 1.

As it stands now they would do away with, or at least continue the moratorium on, the equalization property tax and give away millions more by cutting the corporate tax income tax rate from 7% to less than 5% and also reduce the top personal income tax rate.

In exchange for this they would backfill some of the budget cuts and the tax cuts they are so keen for by putting the Governor's one cent sales tax plan on the ballot in November. If it passes offically one third would go to prisons and social services and two thirds to education. Of course most of that would only go to pay back what is being taken out in the tax cuts.

If this sounds like the plan they've been pushing all along, you are right.

The twist is that they still don't have enough votes. They need sixteen. The two remaining holdouts who won't vote for the sales tax referendum are Sens. Pamela Gorman and Ron Gould.

The new angle is that with Harper on board they are now twisting the arms of two moderate Republicans, the two who they didn't invite for the original June 4 vote at 3 AM when this budget was born because they would not vote for it. The two still are saying they won't support the new deal because they believe that with this kind of a deficit more tax cuts would be irresponsible, and also because of the scope of cuts to education and state services.

So they are having their arms twisted every which way.

The two are Senators

Carolyn Allen (district 8, email and phone (602) 926-4480)

Jay Tibshraeny (district 21, email and phone (602) 926-4481)

If you have a chance, please take a moment to email and/or call Senators Carolyn Allen and Jay Tibshraeny and urge them not to vote for a bad budget in which voters are asked to pass a sales tax just to pay for tax cuts given mainly to corporations and the wealthy, and tell them that you appreciate their standing firm against it so far. I'm sure they are being bombarded by the right as well.

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