Podcast Rep. PPH Capitol Updates: Back Story on the Budget

A View from the Left Side Podcast

The Arizona Legislature surpassed Day 150 this week. You’ll remember that the target length for a session is 100 days. That shipped sailed in mid April.

Season 2 Episode 8 of A View from the Left Side is a compilation of Legislative Updates recorded between April 18, 2022 and May 31, 2022. 

Three of these updates focus on the stalled budget process. The House Republican Caucus is fractured and there is no collaboration between the House and Senate leadership teams. 

There are rumors of another Republican budget but no bills have been dropped, and recent leaded spreadsheet likely doesn’t have the votes to pass. 

Libertarians don’t want to spend money on anything — despite great need in the state and a $5 billion surplus.

Democrats aren’t likely to support a budget that doesn’t include a significant investment in public education. Prop 208, which the Republicans took down in court, would have provided $900 million in revenue for public education by assessing a fee on excessive income over $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples. 

Continue reading Podcast Rep. PPH Capitol Updates: Back Story on the Budget

Republicans Propose Austerity Budget. Why? (video)

Rep. Pam Powers Hannley

According to Arizona’s financial advisory committee, the state has more than $1.3 billion in ongoing funds and $3.6 billion in one-time funds to work with as we begin the budget process. We have $5 billion.

Why are Republicans proposing an austerity budget in times of plenty? Their pet projects — like the Flat Tax, Koch Brothers Freedom Schools, results-based funding and fake pregnancy clinics — are included in this first pass at the budget.

What’s not in this budget? Funding for K-12 education (since the Republicans killed Prop 208 in the courts), maternal and child health, Housing Trust Fund, help for the homeless, eviction relief, major infrastructure projects, expansion of cash assistance to the poor (TANF), programs to address chronic poverty, etc.

When there is so much need, why aren’t we investing in the future? (This video was recorded on April 19, 2022. Read the April 26 update and see the video below.)

Continue reading Republicans Propose Austerity Budget. Why? (video)

Grover Norquist Tax Pledge Is Unrealistic in Tax Giveaway State (video)

Taxpayer Protection Pledge, edited

I was surprised to find Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge on my desk on the Floor of the Arizona House on Monday. First of all, state employees like the Pages should not be distributing political propaganda to members in the House Chambers on state time.

That aside, Norquist’s pledge is completely unrealistic in a state that gives away as much tax revenue as possible in the form of tax advantages for big corporations, wealthy Arizonans, and private religious schools. Norquist’s tax pledge states that members pledge to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.” The problem is that Arizona has far too many lawmakers — on both sides of the aisle — who consistently vote to give your taxes away.

When they go overboard with tax breaks and are caught short during a financial disaster — like the Wall Street Crash of 2008-09 — the state is forced to cut vital programs or raise taxes to make up the difference. Arizona has been cutting taxes for decades; this resulted in massive across the board cuts under Governor Jan Brewer and Senate President Russell Pearce.

Let’s not go there again. Let’s learn from past mistakes, shall we?

Continue reading Grover Norquist Tax Pledge Is Unrealistic in Tax Giveaway State (video)

Podcast: Rep. PPH Capitol Updates: Culture Wars at #AZLeg with Abortion Ban, School Vouchers & Camps for Homeless

A View from the Left Side podcast

As the Arizona Legislature approaches the 100-day target for the end of session, Republican Legislators have shifted their focus to passage of their party’s most extreme bills.

In Season 2, Episode 7, Rep. Pam Powers Hannley’s Legislative updates focus on the Culture War raging in the Legislature — from the 15 week abortion ban and school voucher expansion to homeless encampments and inequitable ambulance services. 

Ironically,  Arizona Republicans routinely pontificate about “parental choice” when it comes to schools and school curricula BUT parental input falls by the wayside when it comes to statewide voucher expansion OR the ultimate parental choice — whether or not to have a baby and when. 

Creeping authoritarianism in the Republican Party — fueled by fake news and misinformation in social media — is troubling.

There is a link to this podcast below. You can also subscribe to A View from the Left Side on multiple podcasting services such as iTunes, SpotifyStitcher RadioI Heart Radio and others. The original Legislative update videos on these topics can be found on my YouTube Channel.

Continue reading Podcast: Rep. PPH Capitol Updates: Culture Wars at #AZLeg with Abortion Ban, School Vouchers & Camps for Homeless

My Focus Is Food & Housing Security (video)

affordable housing

This week House and Senate members are gathering co-sponsors and filing many of their bills. This year, as I have in the past, I am focusing on the Social Determinants of Health and Adverse Childhood Experiences. Arizona is one of the stingiest states in the US. We force people to live with sickness and poverty.

Governmental policies should give people the freedom to thrive. That means helping families with food insecurity, housing insecurity and financial insecurity. That means helping them keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Continue reading My Focus Is Food & Housing Security (video)

Podcast: How Will Climate Change Shape Arizona’s Future? (video)

podcast on the environment

Long-term drought, extreme heat, intense fires and unpredictable weather — obviously, Arizona is feeling the effects of climate change now.

Governor Doug Ducey and Republican Legislators continue to pursue the capitalist path of unbridled and unchecked growth as the road to prosperity, with no concern regarding the environmental impact or the long-term sustainability of their ideas.

In her speech to the UN climate conference in 2019, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg called the corporate push for more consumerism … more growth … more building “fairytale” and warned world leaders that the youth of planet Earth expect action. In 2021, Thunberg called the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow “more blah, blah, blah” and scolded leaders for making little progress.

Climate change is a ticking time bomb. The human race has roughly this decade to make major changes in order stop the worst effects of climate change.

For the commentary this week, you’ll hear Thunberg scolding world leaders for inaction on climate change on behalf of the world’s children in 2019.

There is a link to this podcast below. You can also subscribe to A View from the Left Side on multiple podcasting services such as iTunes, SpotifyStitcher RadioI Heart Radio and others.

Continue reading Podcast: How Will Climate Change Shape Arizona’s Future? (video)