9 June 2011
Dear Arizona Taxpayer:
Governor Jan Brewer announced yesterday that she is calling the Arizona Legislature into special session this Friday (June 10) to extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for 15,000 people from 79 weeks to 99 weeks.
At this point, it appears that Gov. Brewer and legislative leaders have not actually lined up the 20 Senate votes and the 40 House votes necessary to extend the benefits for the extra 20 weeks. The big hurdle for Brewer is that the Legislature actually contains a lot of conservatives, and conservative Legislators have two main problems with Brewer’s proposal to extend UI benefits:
1) Many studies show that extended UI benefits discourage recipients from seeking jobs, thus keeping unemployment higher than it would be otherwise. Learn more at this link: http://tinyurl.com/heritageui
2) Conservative Legislators feel that Gov. Brewer burned them during the spring session with multiple vetoes of conservative bills. More about that below…
ACTION ITEM: Please contact all three of your state Legislators today and ask them to vote against the extension of unemployment insurance benefits. You can use this link to find your Legislators:
Burned by Brewer
As you are aware, Arizona has one of the most fiscally conservative Legislatures in its history, and in the country. The GOP majority in the Legislature was successful in passing many major free-market reforms. Unfortunately, Gov. Brewer vetoed several of the most consequential conservative bills, and some reforms were not untaken at all due to threatened vetoes. If Legislators are going to cave in and give subsidies to people to keep them from looking for jobs, they should bargain hard and demand that Brewer sign one or more of the following vetoed reforms:
HB 2707 was a statutory state spending/revenue limit based on population-plus-inflation, so it’s clear that spending limit supporters in the Legislature do not owe Brewer any favors;
SB 1322 was the bill that would have brought privatization (managed competition) and transparent bidding to city services in Phoenix and Tucson, so it’s clear that privatization supporters in the Legislature do not owe Brewer any favors;
HB 2338 would have imposed modest limitations on property tax levies by secondary taxing districts, so property tax reformers in the Legislature do not owe Brewer any favors;
HB 2581 and SB 1186 were two vetoed bills that would have enacted modest expansions of Arizona’s existing school choice tax credit, so school choice advocates in the Legislature do not owe Brewer any favors;
HB 1593 was a bill that would have allowed Arizona health insurance consumers to purchase health plans available in other States and would have posed a key challenge to ObamaCare, by starting to create a nationwide private marketplace for individual/family health insurance plans—so it’s unclear why opponents of ObamaCare would owe Brewer any favors;
SB 1552 would have provided tax relief for Arizona corporations by adjusting the corporate tax sales factor—so, other than the handful of crony capitalists who will get handouts from the new Commerce Authority slush fund, it is clear that business owners and pro-business Legislators do not owe Brewer any favors;
SB 1592 and SB 1088, both vetoed, would have created interstate compact bills for Arizona and other States to challenge ObamaCare—again, it’s unclear why opponents of ObamaCare would owe Brewer any favors; and finally,
real short-term pro-growth tax cuts were not included in the “Jobs” bill due to Gov. Brewer’s veto threats, so tax-cutters do not owe Brewer any favors.
Also, the $87 million in total extended benefits will not do much to stimulate our local economy: $87 million is less than one-tenth of one percent of the Arizona economy.
Please send a note to your Legislators as soon as possible. And thank you for taking action!
For Liberty, Tom
Americans for Prosperity