The Senate Appropriation committee hearing took place regarding the budget bills as expected. All of the bills passed out of that committee, most with a 6-3 straight party line vote, including the elections ominous bill.
The K-12 bill, SB 1487, vote was 5-4 with Republican Kelli Ward voting with the three Democrats (Pancrazi, Tovar and Cajero Bedford).
The General Appropriation bill, SB 1486, passed out of committee with a 7-2 vote, Cajero Bedford voting Aye with the Republicans.
Only two of the bills, SB 1483 and 1484, are currently scheduled for floor debate (Thursday).
State Sen. Steve Gallardo (D-Maryvale) remarked this evening:
Senate Democrats' only leverage is to refuse a vote on Medicaid expansion. A budget that does not properly fund education, ignores [dramatically underfunds] Child Protective Services, gives $1.5 million to Arpaio or [and] allows voter suppression bills to move forward does not deserve Medicaid expansion.Now, a perspective posed to me this evening provided key insight on what Biggs's scheme is about.
The election bills introduced earlier in the session (and bundled together in the new elections bill) -- to provide criminal penalties for assisting voters in delivering their signed and sealed early ballots and for throwing voters off of the Permanent Early Voting List -- are clearly intended to provide structural mechanisms in law for the GOP to regain the supermajority they "enjoyed" in 2011-2012.
The budget bills, being in many ways close to what Democrats have said they wanted over the last few months are being presented together as a package with the elections bill as the major bait to get them to go along to enact those voting provisions that will grease the skids for regaining -- and making virtually permanent -- the GOP supermajority.
We must clearly and in a no nonsense way assert to all Arizona senators, Democrats and Republicans, that we will not sit by and allow them to sell out Arizona's future in that way.
Consider than in 1860 (153 years ago) nearly 13 percent of the people living in the United States were officially (LAWFULLY, for crying out loud) living in SLAVERY (3.95 million people). According to recent figures,
In November 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau said more than 16% of the population lived in poverty in the United States, including almost 20% of American children, up from 14.3% (approximately 43.6 million) in 2009 and to its highest level since 1993. In 2008, 13.2% (39.8 million) Americans lived in poverty.In Arizona, the percentages are even higher. Why is that? Is it because 20 percent of American children are too lazy to work enough to feed, clothe and house themselves properly? Bullshit.
Do I even have to make the argument that those who have been controlling public policymaking in Arizona have pursued an agenda that has driven jobs out of our state?
This can -- and WILL -- change as legislative Democrats stand solidly united for state priorities that properly fund education, child welfare and SUSTAINABLE economic development.
The key, as voters, activists and Precinct Committeemen is to make it clear to those who represent you in the state legislature that you no longer accept the learned helplessness that has been the Democratic brand at the Capitol for at least the last twenty years.
Rise UP! THE time is NOW.
There should be more to report on Thursday evening.