Senate Democrat’s Statement on Budget Passed In The Dead of Night
Arizona Senate Democrat’s released the following statement on the Republican budget passed in the Senate.
“Last night under the cover of darkness, the Republican majority forced their flat tax budget through the State Senate on party lines, with no effort to find bipartisan solutions with Senate Democrats. This budget was neither fair nor transparent. Instead, it was crafted behind closed doors, ignoring the input of real Arizonans and ignoring the input of Democratic Senators. We could have had a transformational budget to rebuild and revitalize Arizona with a $2 billion surplus that could go toward paying down our debt, investing in our public schools, providing teachers much needed raises, updating and repairing our state's infrastructure and more. Instead, Republicans prioritized welfare for the wealthy, forcing Arizonans to subsidize the lifestyles of the rich with this radical tax cut plan. Further, Republicans snuck in a pandora's box of partisan bills, completely unrelated to the budget, that included a host of election conspiracy theories, attacks on teachers, the largest ESA expansion in the history of the state, banning mask and vaccine mandates at schools and more.
Arizona doesn't need more tax cuts that will only help the wealthiest Arizonans. Many low- and middle-income Arizonans have faced extraordinary challenges after the last year. Rather than helping them, this budget will give them about a $15 tax cut while giving millionaires a minimum of a $46,000 tax cut and tens of thousands of dollars more for the mega wealthy.
We had a real opportunity to help Arizona's working families restore, recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. A true Arizona budget would raise teacher pay, make higher education more affordable, extend healthcare to uninsured children, address affordable housing shortages, reform an antiquated unemployment insurance system, invest in critical infrastructure and protect the most vulnerable Arizonans. But rather than sit down and develop a budget that represents the entire state, our colleagues are far more interested in giving out welfare for the wealthy. We’re forcing hard working Arizonans to pay for the lifestyles of the richest after a year where they lost their jobs, lost their homes and lost loved ones to COVID. It's beyond cruel. It's outright malevolent. Arizonans deserve better.”