Friday, January 18, 2013

Democratic leaders respond to Gov. Brewer’s budget proposal

Democratic leaders respond to Gov. Brewer’s budget proposal

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), and Senate Minority Leader Leah Landrum Taylor, D-Phoenix (District 27), released the following statements in response to the governor’s budget proposal.

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell

“The governor’s budget is a good starting point. We appear to have a foundation for a plan that could bring legislators from both parties together to finally enact a common-sense budget for Arizona. I applaud the governor for her proposal to secure Arizona’s fair share of federal dollars through Medicaid expansion.

“It would be more productive for the state if the governor’s budget invested further in school resource officers, mental health services, child welfare programs, schools and job creators like state parks and other infrastructure and capital proposals. Overall, however, her funding priorities are reasonable.

“It is imperative that we move quickly to get additional Child Protective Services caseworkers and resources into the CPS system. I support the governor’s call for immediate action in that area. The governor’s proposed changes in how education is funded need to be discussed with stakeholders so that the impact on schools and school districts can be determined. We can’t just eliminate the existing funding formulas, many of which are currently unfunded, and pretend that starving Arizona’s schools of money has not done damage to the education system. Helping our schools rebound and implementing reform efforts, like Common Core, takes money. It must be done to ensure Arizona students have the skills needed to compete globally. We should start by providing the $80 million owed to schools for inflation funding. The court of appeals recently ruled that withholding that money from schools was illegal.

“I welcome the opportunity to work with the governor and my Republican counterparts in adopting a budget that reflects the values of our state and moves us toward a more secure economic future.”

Senate Minority Leader Leah Landrum Taylor

“The governor is doing the right thing by proposing we expand Medicaid. It’s a smart business decision that’s good for our state’s economy and good for the people of Arizona.

“We hope that same logic would be applied toward putting education on a path for success. Unfortunately, we’ve seen all too well that this Tea Party Legislature is willing to put our kids last.

“Over the past few years they have decimated education funding by more than $2.9 billion and slashed funding for CPS and healthcare - all while giving away hundreds of millions in tax cuts for corporations and special interests.

“We need to make smart choices as we craft next year’s budget, and it must be done in an open and transparent way with meaningful input from the public, unlike in past years. We must invest in our kids’ future, in our state’s future, if we hope to succeed.”


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