In early May 2022, a leaked Supreme Court opinion showed the court may be leaning toward eliminating or severely limiting Roe v Wade, the landmark abortion rights case from the early 1970s.
There were rallies and marches around the country to protest this ideological strike against women’s rights and body autonomy by a Supreme Court packed with appointees from a discredited President.
Here are two of the speeches from the Tucson rally on May 14, 2022 — one by Congressman Raul Grijalva and the second one by State Senator Stephanie Stahl Hamilton. The video clip begins with Mayor Regina Romero leading the unity clap as I arrived at Armory Park.
Continue reading Stop Abortion Bans Rally, May 14, 2022 (video)
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
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)
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)
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, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, I 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
February 10, 2022 was African American Protocol Day in the Arizona Legislature. This is a day when leaders from the African American community statewide come to the Legislature to educate us.
Continue reading CRT Takes Center Stage in #AZLeg African American Protocol Day (video)