Arizona legislature does a sine die – ends with a thud and a bad budget

At least it's over

A quick review of the term "sine die" as it pertains for the Arizona legislative session that just ended on Saturday. A budget was passed at 9:55 PM. It's not good, and I think we could do better if we have at least one house of the state legislature controlled by Democrats.
The most important aspect of sine die is that for lawmakers "time to go home". The damage has been done. Now let's fix it!

 

Something to think about

HCR 2060 will be on the November ballot. It is based on Texas SB4. What else do Arizona Republicans want to import from Texas? Draconian reproductive and voting rights restrictions.

Post by @rwkarp
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More data on the Arizona ESA Voucher scam

Brookings Institute: Arizona’s ‘universal’ education savings account program has become a handout to the wealthy

From the article:
  • Recently, Republican lawmakers have created or expanded private-school choice programs to allow nearly all students, regardless of their individual need, access to public funding to attend private schools.
  • In Arizona, more advantaged communities are securing a highly disproportionate share of the funds from the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program.
  • Families in the poorest communities are the least likely to obtain ESA funds.
Commentary by Bob Karp -Great article on the Arizona ESA Voucher scam. It's a budget busting giveaway to the wealthy. I have indicated that when elected I would attempt to kill the program in its entirety, to start over with a  program as it was originally intended to help special needs students who cannot receive all the resources they need in their public schools.
Read the entire article at Brookings.edu here.

Republicans and conservative groups lost one in court

Judge tosses challenge to AZ Sec. of State's Election Manual - Commentary by Bob Karp

Conservative groups as well as the Republicans in the state legislature want to make it as difficult to vote as possible.
From the article:
"The Arizona Free Enterprise Club had filed a lawsuit that zeroed in on the manual’s instructions on operating ballot drop-off locations and preventing voter intimidation."
Please don't lecture me about your patriotism and belief in Democracy.
Read the article at AZPM.org

 

Liberty Water proposes a rate increase of up to 59%

Commentary by Bob Karp - why we need to elect Jonathan Hill, Ylenia Aguilar and Joshua Polacheck to the Arizona Corporation Commission

For those residents in the Sierra Vista, AZ area that have liberty utilities (water) service, previously Belle Vista Water, get prepared for an rate increase at the low end of approximately 33% to an astounding high end of about 59%!

Public notice to rate payers just went out in the mail.  It is four pages of detailed disclosure. Read it carefully, I did.  Here is what jumped out to me.  For just the Sierra Vista service area, Liberty is proposing a 32% increase.  The first page shows a rate for just the old Belle Vista area which includes some of Sierra Vista and many outlying areas as far Hereford, AZ.

The second page has an additional surcharge which brings that total to about 33%.  However, there is a consolidated rate.  This is Liberty asking for rates to be consolidated with other Liberty water districts outside the county.  If they do consolidate, the rate increase is an astounding 59%.  Which means the Liberty Bella Vista area pays an additional 26% to support rates in other districts.

There is a way to at least be heard on this issue.  The Arizona Corporation Commission will hold hearings on the rate application.  (See below)

You can also submit comments via the AZCC.gov website.  (See above)
Currently there are four Republicans on the commission who are more friendly to the utilities' interests than consumers.  By electing Hill, Aguilar and Polacheck to the commission this November consumers would finally have the commission on their side.

 

Attorneys’ group defends AZ Supreme Court judges

Commentary by Bob Karp

This is not a big surprise. From the article:

"A group of veteran attorneys has organized to defend the process of how most judges in Arizona are selected and stand for reelection.

And they may raise some cash to keep Clint Bolick and Kathryn King on the Arizona Supreme Court.

The two justices have drawn a significant amount of attention and face a campaign by a political action group to deny them a new six-year term in November over their vote that allowed an 1864 abortion law to be enforced in Arizona."

There was no concern by these attorneys when Governor Ducey stacked the court by expanding it from 5 to 7. Now they are worried that given a chance, the voters may have a say in this charade of nonpolitical judges and the process that put them on the Arizona Supreme Court.

Read the Capitol Times article here