Monday, January 09, 2012

Democrats: 'Stop the partisan bickering, focus on jobs, no more cuts to schools'

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Democratic lawmakers said today that Arizona’s centennial is an opportunity for government to stop the partisan bickering and focus on what matters — creating jobs and drawing the line at further cuts to our schools.

Senate Minority Leader David Schapira and House Minority Leader Chad Campbell both said middle-class families, Arizona’s economic engine, deserve our focus on good ideas to put people back to work and improve public schools so our kids can compete for the jobs of the future.

“When our Arizona families sit down at the table, I don’t want them talking about how they can’t pay for their next grocery store trip,” Campbell said. “I want them to discuss the bright future their children are going to have and the jobs they’ll secure when they graduate from college. We’ve seen our middle class — our very own economic engine — dwindling and suffering while Tea Party lawmakers vote to give tax breaks to the rich during times of hardship.”

Campbell and Schapira said Arizonans are sick of the partisan divide at the capitol and just want results. Democratic lawmakers are ready and willing to work toward the middle on a compromise but Tea Party legislators have been attached to their rigid ideologies and the special interests that drive them.

"With this legislative session, we have an opportunity to get our state back on track, setting us on a path to recovery and renewal,” Schapira said. “If we’re to achieve this goal, we need to put aside the partisanship and extreme Tea Party agendas that have bogged us down in the past. Arizona families are struggling right now, so we must focus on common sense ideas that will help Arizona prosper and get folks back to work.”

Tea Party legislators and Gov. Jan Brewer have:
• Sold state capitol buildings to big Wall Street banks. Taxpayers will have to spend $1.6 billion to lease and buy those buildings back with interest from those Wall Street banks.
• Voted to give millions in tax cuts to big, out-of-state corporations similar to BP, while providing next to no help for small, local businesses.
• Voted to cut more than $1.5 billion from our kids’ schools and 10,000 school employees’ jobs were lost, overcrowding classrooms, closing schools and endangering our kids’ future.
• Voted to raise income taxes on middle-class Arizona families while cutting taxes for those earning more than $100,000 a year.
• Focused on divisive and failed immigration legislation instead of on jobs and the economy.

“It’s time to propose holding companies that receive tax credits accountable for creating jobs they promised,” Campbell said. “It’s also time to reform our unfair tax code. We need to stop picking winners and losers and make it fair for everyone — hard working individuals, families, and small businesses deserve a tax code that gives them the opportunity to achieve the American dream.”

Schapira said if Arizona is going to move forward after the Tea Party and Brewer went to war on our schools, we have to stand our ground at any further cuts to our kids’ classrooms.

“In order to ensure long-term success for our state, we must make protecting education one of our top priorities,” Schapira said. “Not only will our kids be better prepared for success, but by restoring budgets for school building renewal we can create construction jobs while repairing our crumbling schools, making them safer for your kids and mine. It’s time to be willing to work together to get results that will guarantee a better future for our families and our state."

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