Sun City Arizona Democratic Club May Newsletter
See you at the Spring Fling Party at the The Sun City Democratic Club’s annual Spring Fling dinner on Thursday, May 7th at 6:00 P.M. at the Fairway Recreation Center on Peoria and 107th Avenues. Dinner will be served at 6:30.
Dinner will be a delicious buffet,of assorted home cooked specialties including pulled pork and chicken wings. Also, served will be side dishes and salads. The buffet also will include offerings for vegetarians. Tickets are $5.00 per person this year. Guests are invited to BYOB.
The SCDC is helping to defray the costs of this buffet as a gift to our membership. We appreciate you! Join us for food and fun.
Deficit Getting Smaller
“Let’s turn to the federal budget deficit. This is the amount the government spends that is more than the amount it takes in from taxes and other revenue. Is it your sense that this year the deficit is getting bigger or getting smaller, or is it staying about the same as last year?”
(a) Sixty-two percent of Americans believe the deficit is getting bigger this year,
(b) twenty-eight percent believe the deficit will remain about the same; and
(c) six percent believe the deficit will shrink
What is the right answer?
If you guessed (c) in the belief that the deficit has shrunk this year, you are one of the six percent who got the answer correct.
It's an indisputable fact: The budget deficit is getting smaller.
Since 2010 (President Obama's first full fiscal year in office) the deficit began to decrease. In fact from 2010 to 2013 the deficit plummeted 35% or 41% (using deficit as a share of the GDP.)
AND there was a 50% plunge in deficit from 2009.
Yet when Bloomberg news commissioned a poll most Americans had no idea about this fact!
So the next time you hear a poll about how Americans think that it is important to shrink the budget deficit, keep in mind that 94 percent of us don't even know that it's getting smaller.
Scorecard for Arizona Government
With the end of the 2015 legislative session, it is time to give the legislature and the governor a grade. Did they pass or fail? Or maybe, their performance is just average for Arizona. They’ve been praised for adjournment with one of Arizona’s shortest sessions.
Budget . Definitely a failing grade for both governor and legislature. They failed to invest in the best way to improve the business climate in AZ—support of education. No funds to the community colleges in our two largest counties; reduced funding for higher education and for public K-12 schools. No resolution of the court-ordered funding increase. With over 80% of students in public district schools, these kids deserve better than they got. Community colleges have long been the way to provide an educated and ready-to-work base of employees for businesses. Was no one in leadership able to see the folly in this budget, which has been criticized by many Arizonans and organizations?
How do West Valley legislators claim they have increased funding for Peoria Unified School District while other districts don’t even get an inflation-based increase in funds?
Education bills. Grade: D Cuts to education were bad but some harmful bills didn’t make it through the process. HB 2246, which would let parents opt their children out of statewide testing, failed twice. SB 1172, a gag order for school officials also failed but will probably pop up again sometime. It is the kooky kind of legislation that goes over well in Arizona. HB 2190, HB 1305, SB 1458, all would have required AZ schools to revert to 2010 school standards, among other changes. After 3 attempts to kill it in the Senate, Common Core survived.
We’ve learned how higher education will deal with their cuts. Why does our state government claim credit for reducing costs of government when other agencies or entities have to raise taxes or fees to cover the services demanded by citizens? Expect property tax increases, brought to us by the legislature and governor, to support community colleges as well.
Taxes. This has to be their one good grade—a B. HB 2001 adjusts the state’s tax brackets for inflation each year. However, HB 2568, lowers state taxes on some insurance premiums, with lower rates reducing state revenues by $2M in fiscal 2017, growing to nearly $45 M within a decade. How will lower state revenues improve Arizona? With revenues not meeting our needs, we will have continuous cuts to programs essential to a healthy economy.
Social issues. Another failing grade; but what can we expect when the governor is advised by Arizona’s far-right wing. SB 1318, requiring AZ doctors to provide incorrect information to women who take the first step of the abortion pill was the worst bill inserting legislative opinions for scientific facts. Medical advice should be based on science, not voodoo. The bill bars insurance companies from providing abortion services to women who purchase medical coverage through the ACA. We continue battling the ACA through a new law forbidding the state from using any resources or staff to comply with the law, preventing our own healthcare exchange. Why is it that Republicans do not want Arizonans to have healthcare insurance?
Funds for childcare, child safety, foster parents is all lacking. A cop selected to run the department charged with child welfare has already reverted to practices he criticized. Could it be that we need money for more case-workers or to help families in need?
Environmental legislation. Failing grade. HB2636, a 1 cent /gallon tax on gasoline for 8 years to pay for clean-up costs for leaking underground gas storage tanks passed. I’m surprised, as it is an increase in a taxes. SB1241 blocks towns, cities, and counties from passing ordinances that ban or tax the use of plastic bags, Styrofoam and other containers. It also prohibits requiring businesses to report how much energy they use. Why are Republicans so opposed to other governing groups making decisions that would improve our environment? Do they want to live in a cesspool of polluted air and water? Another bad decision imposing their judgement on other entities. And then they want to take over Federal parks and monuments?
The state agency that ensures the weights and measurements for all products in Arizona is accurate was abolished with duties farmed out to other agencies. I thought it was to save money but read than Andy Tobin will be in charge. So where is money saved? I get the feeling that the legislature and governor consider consumer protections an undue burden or regulation for business.
Special interest legislation. Let’s be generous and give a C to a mixed bag of legislation.
SB 1469/HB 2671 provides $24 M in guaranteed loans as part of the Ducey budget but no specifics regarding use have been provided.
SB 1419 exempts convenience stores selling liquor from buffer zones around schools and churches; a winner for the stores.
Ducey vetoed SB 1200, a bill to Revive the Mining and Mineral Museum closed in 2010 and transfer control to the Arizona Geological Survey. Arizona history is not important to this governor.
A proposal to allow concealed carry of guns in public building failed in the Senate.
HB 2410 which would have banned the use of quotas by police and using the quotas in evaluating the officer’s rank passed but was vetoed by Gov Ducey.
Ducey’s plan for a secret IG office, reporting to him, didn’t make it through the legislature. Expect a special session to get this passed into law.
HB 2150, would have separated animal-cruelty laws for livestock and poultry from animals kept as pets but was vetoed by Gov Ducey.
SB 1445, vetoed by Gov Ducey, would have shielded police officers’ names from the public after a serious or deadly shooting.
Fortunately for travelers, drivers’ licenses that allow us to fly after Jan 1, 2016, were approved in the closing days.
Restrictions on assistance in collecting ballots and an attack on Clean Elections failed in the final days. These bills will return as Republicans see them as a way to reduce Democratic votes. They refused to address problems with outside groups determining our elections through contributions of “dark money.”
Not an outstanding session but it could have been worse. Unless the voodoo medical
advice gets picked up by national TV shows we will be able to defer to Indiana and Arkansas. Overall grade: D.
Sun City Democratic Club Board of Directors
Shirley McAllister Honored
One of our very own was recently honored at the Fourth Annual "Reclaiming Government for the People" dinner on March 21st. Shirley McAllister received the The Lifetime Achievement Award.
Shirley was recognized for her " lifetime of passionate work advocating for progressive policies and government of, by, and for the people." A number of West Valley residents attended the dinner honoring Shirley McAllister.
Shirley is a member of our Sun City Democratic Club and is very active in all of our events. We are proud to have her in our group. Be sure to congratulate Shirley when you see her!
President Obama's Remarks at the Correspondent's Dinner 2015 In Full
Cecily Strong at the Correspondent's Dinner 2015
Hillary Clinton for President
Here is the official Hillary for President website:
The site also has Hillary Clinton for President merchandise available.
Our work to elect a Democrat to the White House begins NOW!
SCDC Meeting Location~1st Thurs. Sept-May at 6pm
Welcome! See you there!
For more information please contact us by using the comments section below. We are available through-out the summer and resume our meetings in September 2015.