I know you always vote your conscience on all bills, and you don’t pay much attention to scorecards and ratings from stakeholder groups. That said, we have received inquiries from Legislators about how we are grading the session so far. Attached is a spreadsheet showing the biggest items on the Scorecard and your progress so far.
Please note that this spreadsheet shows how things would stand if the session ended today, with several pieces of major unfinished business. For the past decade, AFP-Arizona has imposed collective penalties for coalition key bills that do not get floor votes. Also, other than the listed bills, we have assumed that you will likely vote with us on seven-eighths of the unlisted bills.
Currently, we show you having a score of 47 percent, which would yield a designation of Friend of Big Government.
To improve that, we strongly urge you and your colleagues to do the following:
Make sure that a repeal & reform bill for the Education Savings Account expansion gets to a floor vote — and vote Yes on it.
Make sure that any bills delegating taxing authority to the ADOT director are at the very least amended to include Prop 108 clauses. Previous votes for SB 1065 and HB 2166 will be erased from the Scorecard.
Make sure that light rail gets stripped from any county transportation sales tax authorization bill. Previous votes for SB 1147 with light rail will be erased from the Scorecard.
Make sure that HB 2099 (Truth in Spending) gets a floor vote in the Senate – and vote Yes on it. (House Yes votes are already safe.)
(Lost cause, as of 3/29) SB 1378 (education spending transparency) got a floor vote in the Senate and failed 14-16, so the House is unlikely to get a chance to vote on it (unfortunately, the House version was held in the House Education Committee earlier in session.)
Make sure that Dental Therapy (most recently, the HB 2235 striker) gets a floor vote in the House — and vote Yes on it. (Senate Yes votes on SB 1377 are already safe.)
Make sure that protections for Home-Based Businesses (currently, the SB 1387 striker) gets a floor vote in the Senate — and vote Yes on it.
Make sure that the Legislature enacts a bill to return to taxpayers the excess revenue ($133M, according to JLBC) caused by conformity with the post-reform federal tax code.
Restructure the K-12 funding formula to push $500 million (roughly $10,000 per teacher) into classroom teacher compensation (with non-supplant clauses) and out of district administration, soft capital, facilities, and overhead, with attendant reductions in state mandates and regulations on districts.
Make sure that the FY 2019 General Fund budget comes in at or below $10.179 billion, assuming no supplementals for FY 2018. (If FY18 supplementals are $50 million, then the FY 19 budget needs to be $10.129 billion or lower.)
If all of the above happens, your score could go to at least 74 percent, yielding a designation of Friend of the Taxpayer.
For Liberty & Prosperity, Tom
Tom Jenney, Senior Legislative Advisor, AFP-Arizona