A decent budget, but mostly a bad session for AZ Legislators
Governor Brewer and many members of the Arizona Legislature earned low scores on the 2012 Legislative Scorecard released by the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity. The Scorecard is the 28th annual report card released by AFP-Arizona, which was formerly the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers.
A majority of Legislators lost big points on the Scorecard by failing to sign the Arizona Health Care Freedom Pledge. By doing so, they failed to commit to stopping Governor Brewer from setting up an ObamaCare insurance exchange in Arizona. For her part, Governor Brewer solidified her status as a Friend of Big Government by earning a score of 42 percent on the Scorecard.
AFP-Arizona was also disappointed by the continuing failure of the Legislature and Governor to pass a meaningful spending limit. Arizona’s deficit crisis was caused by out-of-control state spending during the Napolitano years, but the Legislature and Governor have thus far failed to take effective measures to prevent future spending binges.
Low scores for House Republicans were mainly due to their collective failure to put adequate pressure on House Speaker Andy Tobin of Prescott. Tobin, who earned the designation of Friend of Big Government for his efforts, was largely responsible for killing several important pieces of legislation that passed the Senate — reforms such as Paycheck Protection — that would have reined in the power of government employee unions.
The very few bright spots in the 2012 session included: banking $450 million to cushion the fiscal drop when the Brewer Tax expires in the summer of 2013; passing a bill to restrain the power of city government employee unions by moving municipal elections to November; passing a phased-in reduction of the state’s capital gains tax; and, enacting some modest expansions of school choice.
For the second year in a row, the Scorecard’s top scorer was Senator Andy Biggs of Gilbert. Senators Lori Klein of Anthem and Ron Gould of Mohave County had the highest cumulative averages for the legislative sessions since 2005.
AFP-Arizona graded over 150 tax, budget and regulatory bills from the 2012 regular session, giving weight to bills according to their projected dollar impact to taxpayers, consumers and producers in Arizona. To view AFP-Arizona’s 2012 Legislative Scorecard and legislators’ cumulative averages since 2005, click HERE.
Arizona’s 2012 regular Legislative Session is officially over, but our Legislators’ work is not yet done. An important special session may be coming soon.
With the failure of the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the Constitution, the federal takeover of health care will march onward, making health care more expensive and less accessible, and stifling medical innovation through huge new tax and regulatory burdens.
Unfortunately, Gov. Brewer is feeding the bureaucratic beast of ObamaCare by spending $30 million of your federal tax dollars to set up an ObamaCare health insurance exchange in Arizona. The exchange is a new bureaucracy that will soon require tens of millions of dollars annually in new surcharges, fees and/or taxes on Arizona families and businesses.
To learn more about the Arizona ObamaCare insurance exchange, start by reading Fraudulent Claims, our quick guide to the misinformation the insurance company lobbyists are telling your Legislators. And be sure to visit ArizonaHealthCareFreedom.com. Finally, please take 90 seconds to watch AFP-Arizona’s web ad about Arizona’s ObamaCare Czar.
Please urge your Legislators to sign the Arizona Health Care Freedom Pledge and commit to stopping the Arizona ObamaCare exchange (our email action system will also send thank-you emails to Legislators who have already signed the Pledge).