Originally Published: March 25, 2015 6 a.m.
I agree with the letter on March 8, "Nite Passage." The budget ship that passed in the night was truly a garbage scow. Governor Doug Ducey claimed that he got 99 percent of what he wanted, which must be money for his cronies in the private prison corporations and net cuts to education.
There were no revenue plusses to help relieve the deficit. In addition, there were cuts to hospitals and nursing homes with an automatic loss of over $500 million in federal matching funds. There were cuts to child safety funds and cuts to the neediest families. This is not what Ducey campaigned on, and he needs to be held accountable for misstating the truth. Personally, I'd recall him.
What I think we need to do is stop cutting taxes for the top income earners, stop cutting taxes for the corporations, stop de-funding public schools, stop funding private and religious schools through the Student Tuition Organizations and Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, and start to increase
funding for public education.
Unlike Arizona, successful states fund public education. Arizona's constitution states explicitly that public education funding must rise beyond the adequate and to the level of providing for the "development and improvement" of our state schools. It also states that the "legislature provide for increasing county funds ... to maintain all the public schools," and that "... state education institutions ... shall be as nearly free as possible."
Ducey and conservative legislators are ignoring the state constitution by continuing to cut public education. Unfortunately, they prefer privatizing prisons and schools for the profit-hungry prison barons and private school corporations. We all should be outraged at Ducey's misrepresentations and actions.