Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Democrats release 2012 plan for a stronger Arizona

Senator David Schapira, D-17, Senate Minority Leader
Representative Chad Campbell, D-14, House Minority Leader
Sen. David Schapira

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Democratic lawmakers unveiled today their 2012 plan that included awarding local businesses contracts, drawing the line at cuts to public schools and stopping the partisan bickering to yield results.
The plan outlined specific policy priorities and legislation for the year that would create jobs, boost the economy and invest in our schools and law enforcement.

“This year, our state’s 100th birthday, is a chance for the state legislature to get things right and work for the people of Arizona in the next 100 years,” House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said. “We want Arizona to move on a path of economic success instead of the direction it’s been headed — toward destructive divisiveness that rips our state apart. It’s time for a new direction.”

Democrats’ roadmap is a common-sense, practical plan that sheds Tea Party extremism and rigid ideologies to yield results for Arizona’s families, focusing on four different areas: No More Partisan Bickering, Jobs, Clean Energy & Economic Development, Education and Public Safety, Health & Immigration.

Rep. Chad Campbell

"The bills we are proposing are common sense solutions to the real problems hard-working Arizonans face every day. Making opportunities for job creation, protecting our kids' education and ensuring the safety of our families - that's what Democrats stand for," Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira said.
Some of the policy priorities include:
  • Adopt ethics reform to stop gifts and favors to legislators from special interests in the wake of the Fiesta Bowl scandal.
  • Create a lower tax burden for small businesses who hire Arizona workers.
  • Create local preference for in-state bidders on state and local contracts.
  • Require a competency test for courses taken at schools that provide online instruction and conduct audits of those schools to ensure accountability.
  • Stop private prison expansion, which has led to serious safety issues, including violent prisoners escaping and committing murders and costs Arizona taxpayers more than traditional public prisons.
“This is a comprehensive, common-sense plan that prepares Arizona for the long term, for our businesses and families,” Campbell said. “Right here, right now, it’s time to stop the partisan bickering. It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to sit down at the table, break down the Tea Party’s rigid walls, roll up our sleeves and get to work."

Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce the common-sense plan in multiple bills throughout the session, even if Tea Party lawmakers refuse to work in a bipartisan way.

"We invite any Republican legislator who is willing to put partisanship aside and the people of Arizona first to join us in getting Arizona back on track,” Schapira said.

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