THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Friday, August 28, 2009

More Budget Updates!

From Doug Kilgore at the AEA:
August 24-28, 2009
This Week's Issue:
Bipartisan Budget Negotiations Continue
On Tuesday the legislature ended the special session when they adjourned, sine die, allowing the governor ten days to act on the 8 remaining budget bills they sent her. The Republican budget package on her desk is almost identical to the one she called "fatally flawed" when she vetoed it and initiated the special session on July 1. This package was sent to the governor when the House and Senate Republican leadership failed to gain enough Republican votes for a sales tax referral as requested by the governor. View a summary of the flawed budget package.  
One week ago the governor sat down for the first time with the Republican and Democratic leaders of both the House and Senate to discuss the budget crisis. Since then five party negotiation sessions have occurred twice on Tuesday and once yesterday afternoon. Another negotiations session is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1.
The governor has until September 5 at midnight to act on the budget bills on her desk. If the bipartisan negotiations are successful before that time, her actions could facilitate what the parties have agreed to and another special session could be called to pass any budget measures that would be needed to produce a bipartisan budget. The governor can veto all or a portion of the package or sign all or a portion of the package at any time. She also has the option of allowing the budget package to go into law without her signature by doing nothing prior to the deadline.
At the present time' the Democrats have made a proposal that reportedly restores some of the funding cuts to public education and other vital state services and balances those restorations with the $250 million that will become available due to the expiration of the school equalization property tax. According to reports, the Democrats have not ruled out support for a sales tax referral but have conditioned that support on the need to protect low wage earners and collect the 1-cent tax for three full years.
House Minority Leader David Lujan, who is representing the House Democrats in the negotiations, commented on the choice the Democrats are presenting to the Republicans stating, "Do they want to provide tax cuts for corporations or do they want to provide a revenue source so we can fund schools and improve programs for the future?"
The Republican legislative leaders have stuck to the exact same budget position they have had since June 30, insisting on a repeal of the statewide equalization tax, cuts to public education and vital services that the governor has called "devastating," and a one cent sales tax referral for two years followed by a third year with a half cent sales tax. The budget package sitting on the governor's desk represents their "proposal" in these discussions, but the package does not include some key components that the governor has stated are imperative for a budget agreement.
The governor has not tipped her hand about what she will do with the budget bills on her desk. She has commented on the Democratic proposals that have been presented stating, "I'm very pleased that they have given us a blueprint." A temporary, three-year one-cent sales tax is her priority issue. Her original budget proposal proposed a phase out of the school equalization tax that would begin in future years when the economy and state revenues have recovered. She has criticized the cuts to education and other services in the current Republican budget on her desk when she originally vetoed them in July.
What You Can Do Take Action Now
AEA continues to organize with other citizens through the March4Schools movement and calls on the governor to veto the flawed budget and continue bipartisan negotiations. The movement needs to continue to grow in order to ensure the voices of citizens are heard.
Follow these three steps to keep the pressure on the governor to veto the budget and continue to work on a bipartisan budget solution.
  1. Spread the word by forwarding this audio message to everyone on your email list.
  2. Ask all your friends to sign up for the March4Schools movement.
  3. Call the governor yourself, if you haven't done so already.
  4. Make a sign for your car and post it.
The best way to enroll others in the cause is to send them to www.march4schools.com.
Blog - These Cuts Are Real!
Hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to public education became real in January of 2009. More are being considered for FY2010. Legislative budgets have an impact on children in our classrooms. Share your story and read others' stories about the impact of education cuts.

Contact Us  
Please contact Doug Kilgore, Government Relations Organizational Consultant,doug.kilgore@arizonaea.org for questions and comments
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