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Problems with Jan Brewer, Steve Pierce and Andy Tobin

April 24, 2012


Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

At this point in the game, there is a strong chance that the 2012 legislative session may end with very few fiscal policy victories for Arizona taxpayers. That could also mean low scores for Legislators on AFP-Arizona’s 2012 Legislative Scorecard. If that happens, the blame will lie at the feet of three individuals: Governor Jan Brewer, Senate President Steve Pierce, and House Speaker Andy Tobin.

Below is a list of key pro-taxpayer bills being held up, along with the names of the individual politicians responsible for the hold-ups. We have also included action links and contact information for the non-budget bills.

Bills in Jeopardy:

1) The FY 2013 Budget

Problem: Gov. Jan Brewer

The overwhelming fiscal imperative for this session is to accumulate a $500 million surplus at the end of FY 2013 (June 30, 2013), to cushion the billion-dollar revenue drop in FY 2014 when the Brewer Tax expires. To their credit, Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin are working hard to negotiate a good deal with the office of Governor Jan Brewer and bank $450 million during FY 2013. But Gov. Brewer and the Democratic minority want to spend significantly more money than the GOP budget bill, which would result in a gigantic budget shortfall in FY 2014. A giant budget cliff in FY 2014 would make it easier for the Democratic spending lobby and for Republican operatives connected to the Brewer administration to argue for a new sales tax beginning June 30, 2013. (You can use the above links to thank Pierce and Tobin for trying to hold the line on spending.)

2) Truth in Spending (SB 1275)

Problems: Speaker Andy Tobin, Rules Chair Jerry Weiers, Gov. Jan Brewer

SB 1275, the Truth in Spending reform bill, cannot get to the House floor because it is being held in the Rules Committee by Rules Chairman Jerry Weiers, probably at the request of House Speaker Andy Tobin and/or Gov. Jan Brewer. Use this link to take action to pass Truth in Spending and to learn more about the reform.

3) Paycheck Protection for Government Employees (HB 2103)

Problems: House Speaker Andy Tobin, Gov. Jan Brewer

Paycheck Protection (striker to HB 2103) would prohibit government employers from taking money from employee’s paychecks for union activities without express annual authorization. Please contact the office of House Speaker Andy Tobin at atobin@azleg.gov and/or (602) 926-5172 and ask him (politely) to allow Paycheck Protection to move in the House. We are concerned that Speaker Tobin is under intense pressure from the government employee unions to kill the bill. Governor Brewer signed a (flawed) version of this legislation last year, but may be holding the bill hostage in an effort to add more spending to the budget.

4) Prohibition on Government Union Release Time (HB 2848)

Problem: Senate President Steve Pierce

The striker to HB 2848 would prohibit government employers from paying employees to do union activities on the taxpayer dime. Please contact the office of Senate President Steve Pierce at spierce@azleg.gov and/or (602) 926-5584 and ask him (politely) to make sure that the union release time prohibition moves forward in the Senate.

5) Moving City Elections to November of Even-Numbered Years (HB 2826)

Problems: Senate President Steve Pierce, Gov. Jan Brewer

HB 2826 would promote higher turnout and greater input by taxpayers, curb the dominance of spending interests in local politics, and save municipalities money by consolidating local elections with the general cycle. Please contact the office of Senate President Steve Pierce at spierce@azleg.gov and/or (602) 926-5584 and ask him (politely) to make sure that HB 2826 moves forward in the Senate. We believe that he is holding the bill at the behest of Gov. Jan Brewer, whose top adviser has the League of Arizona Cities and Towns as a lobbying client, and the League (which uses your tax money to lobby for more spending) is a key opponent of the reform. We must force Gov. Brewer to take a public stand: she can choose taxpayers and sign HB 2826, or choose city spending interests and veto HB 2826.

AFP-Arizona’s 2012 Legislative Scorecard

The reform bills named above will be included on AFP-Arizona’s 2012 Legislative Scorecard, and will be heavily weighted–failure to bring the above bills to floor votes (and to sign the Health Care Freedom Pledge) could sink Legislators’ scores deep into the “Friend of Big Government” region. To see how those bills (and others) will be weighted on the Scorecard, go here. Or, go to www.aztaxpayers.org and click on the 2012 Agenda link at top right.

There are many great fiscal conservatives down at the Legislature. But for better or worse, AFP-Arizona has no way of grading Legislators on their intentions. If roadblocks in House or Senate leadership or in the Governor’s office kill crucial reform bills, we must score the floor votes (or lack thereof) accordingly. And we have been very clear since before the beginning of the session which bills would be included as must-vote reforms in our scoring rubric.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(602) 478-0146

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