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Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia elaborated on the strategies in the Arizona Republic's Viewpoints on March 29 in his editorial, Arizona's Want Varied Strategies.
Jorge Luis Garcia, Senate Democratic Leader
Mar. 29, 2009
Senate Democrats announced budget strategies for fiscal 2010 totaling $3.5 billion after hearing from Arizonans. The message from Arizonans is clear: They want to know other strategies aside from more spiteful cuts and tax increases championed by the Republicans.
Our strategies include using the federal stimulus, securitizing revenue streams and eliminating tax credits. These options exist now.
Democrats are not opposed to making tough choices, but tough choices need to be made based on solid information, not rhetoric or ideological positions. Budgeting during this recession cannot lose sight of our need to educate our children for Arizona's future. That is not being considered.
As we review Arizona's fiscal realities, raising taxes is not the first answer, and neither is slashing programs.
Gov. Jan Brewer expected to get votes from Democrats on a tax increase, but it is not always the best place to go right away. In addition, voters have already approved an additional tax to provide education.
Why should we second-guess the voters and try to change that?
In fact, many of the voter-protected items are education-related. It is contradictory for Republicans to ask voters to cut basic education state aid and
health care while saying that they want to protect it.
Democrats released our proposals to address Arizona's deficit. We have offered our assistance, and we will continue to offer our assistance. When asked to participate, we will participate not as a last-chance option but as equal partners.
Arizonans deserve nothing less.