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Scorecard notes on Medicaid Expansion and Prop 108

May 15, 2013 J,

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

With a possible end to the legislative session now in view, several grassroots taxpayer activists have asked us how we’re going to score our 2013 Legislative Scorecard.  If you want to do your own math on that, you can read our scoring rubric, which is on the second page of our 2013 Legislative Agenda.  But here’s a brief explanation.

Every year, AFP-Arizona’s Legislative Scorecard weights bills according to their projected annual dollar impact to Arizona taxpayers, consumers, and producers ($1 million equals one point).  We do things by the numbers, and this year the numbers are very clear.  Although almost every bill is important in some sense (and we will score all of the bills with fiscal or regulatory impacts), there are two factors that will decide nearly everything: the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion question and the related question of whether Legislators will vote to gut Prop 108, the most important taxpayer protection in the Arizona Constitution (for more info on Prop 108, see item #5 in this link).

There are several ways those factors could play out (in order from worst to best):

1)  Legislators who vote for the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion without the two-thirds vote required by Prop 108 would almost certainly score below 30 percent on the 2013 Scorecard — ending up the category of “Champions of Big Government.”  They would also start the next two sessions with huge point deficits.  Legislators who vote against the expansion and the gutting of Prop 108 would almost certainly score above 70 percent on the Scorecard — ending up in the category of “Friends of the Taxpayer” (or better).

2)  If the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion includes a Prop 108 clause, Legislators who join the two-thirds majorities would almost certainly score below 40 percent on the 2013 Scorecard (“Friends of Big Government,” or worse), but would not be penalized in future years.

3)  Because AFP-Arizona’s probability factor assigns half points to ballot referenda, Legislators who vote to refer the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion to a special election ballot would almost certainly score below 50 percent (“Friends of Big Government“) on 2013 Scorecard, but would not be penalized in future years.

4)  If the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion bill does not reach a floor vote in a chamber, and if the entire 2013 expansion is thereby defeated, AFP-Arizona will assign full positive points to Legislators who did not support the expansion, meaning that they would almost certainly score above 70 percent on the Scorecard — ending up in the category of “Friends of the Taxpayer” (or better).

When you talk to your Legislators, please urge them to vote NO on the Medicaid expansion, early and often.   (You can send them emails by using our ACTION LINK.)

Since 2008, AFP-Arizona has given legislators advance notice of which bills would be scored as key bills during the session.  The 2013 scorecard will be the 29th annual scorecard put out by AFP-Arizona and the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
www.aztaxpayers.org
tjenney@afphq.org

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