Yesterday, an important anti-boondoggle bill, SCR 1028, was approved by the Arizona Senate's Financial Institutions, Insurance, and Retirement Committee. If passed by the Legislature during the current session, SCR 1028 would allow voters in November to strengthen constitutional provisions prohibiting public funds (taxpayer money) from being given as gifts or loans to private businesses.
The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity encourages its grassroots taxpayer activists to thank the three members of the FIIR Committee who voted in favor of the reform bill:
Sen. Pamela Gorman (R-6, North Phoenix, Anthem), firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. John Huppenthal (R-20, Ahwatukee, Chandler), email@example.com
Sen. Thayer Verschoor (R-22, Gilbert), firstname.lastname@example.org
AFP Arizona also thanks the Pima Association of Taxpayers for getting out the word on this important bill, and John Kromko of Tucson for coming to the Legislature yesterday to testify in favor of the bill.
The Committee members who voted against the reform bill were:
Sen. Debbie McCune Davis (D-14, West-Central Phoenix), email@example.com
Sen. Rebecca Rios (D-23, Pinal County), firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arizona Constitution's existing anti-boondoggle provisions should be very clear, but in recent decades, the Arizona Supreme Court has allowed large loopholes for gifts and loans that are supposedly for “public” purposes. Among the gifts to private businesses allowed by the Court's loose interpretation are subsidies for sporting-goods stores (such as the Cabela's in Glendale), automobile dealerships (such as Scottsdale's Motor Mile), shopping centers (Riverview in Mesa, City North in Phoenix, Prasada in Surprise, to name a very few), and various stadiums and sports facilities from Tempe to Tucson.
AFP Arizona also asks its members to send notes of thanks to the following Legislators for introducing the bill:
Sen. Karen Johnson (R-18, Mesa), email@example.com
Sen. Ken Cheuvront (D-15, Central Phoenix), firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Robert Blendu (R-12, Litchfield Park), email@example.com
Sen. Ron Gould (R-3, Lake Havasu City, Mohave County), firstname.lastname@example.org
For more about abuses that have been justified under the prevailing judicial interpretation of the Arizona Constitution's gift ban clause, use this URL to find Benjamin Barr's report from the Goldwater Institute.
Contact: Tom Jenney, Arizona state director, Americans for Prosperity email@example.com (602) 478-0146.