Friday, March 13, 2015

Arizona Representative Lela AustinSays: There are budget alternatives

Lela Alston: Experience. Integrity. Leadership.
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The Governor signed a historically lean budget, starving some of Arizonan’s biggest priorities. This budget doesn’t make education a priority as the Governor will tell you, not job creation, not protecting children, not helping working families, or the poor. Those are my priorities and programs that support those priorities were cut, so I voted no.
You will likely hear champions of the budget say that we need to “tighten the belt,” and there is no other choice.
There are other choices. $675 million in corporate tax handouts over the next three years are just beginning to be phased in. This budget is a choice to continue handing out taxpayer dollars that could be used to help Arizona families and children.
The burden of the recession and our reoccurring fiscal troubles continues to fall on families and children. If the top 1% of wage earners paid the same income tax rate as the middle 20%, we could have written this budget with over one billion more for education, children, and working families. Don’t let Republican leadership fool you, we could stop reducing revenue and make our tax system fair, but those don’t seem to be their priorities either.
The consequences of these misplaced priorities are already evident, Arizona’s economic strength is already dwindling, our unemployment rate is higher than the national average, and we can’t seem to shake fiscal woes, unlike many states that are roaring back from the recession. It won’t be until we stop forcing our families and most vulnerable to shoulder the burden that we will be able to create high paying jobs and produce a workforce that is ready to take them on.
Lela Alston

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