Friday, December 4, 2009

Goldwater Institute: 100 Ideas for 100 Days: Budget Solutions and Ideas for State Elected Officials

Goldwater Institute provides 152 ideas to fix the budget, protect rights, limit government
Phoenix--Today the Goldwater Institute released its 2010 "100 Ideas for 100 Days," an annual handbook designed to provide Arizona's elected officials with a stable of ideas to help meet their constitutional obligation to protect individual rights and promote limited government.
Arizona's legislative session is scheduled to last only 100 days, but since it's been running a bit longer than that, this year's report offers 152 ideas that will help close the state's unprecedented budget deficit, refocus government on its core functions, and help small businesses put people to work and pull the state out of the recession.

"Our elected officials have some important decisions to make in the session ahead," Goldwater Institute President and CEO Darcy Olsen said. "We hope this report serves as a roadmap for our lawmakers interested in budget reform, bringing transparency and accountability to government, and improving education."

This year's report also features the "Top 10 for 2010" ideas that range from fundamental tax reform to initiatives the legislature can refer to the ballot. The Top 10 for 2010 are:

1. Adopt a comprehensive K-12 improvement package modeled after the 1999 Florida reforms, which dramatically improved performance on national tests and helped narrow the achievement gap.

2. Lower the state's annual health insurance premium increases by converting state employee health insurance benefits to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible insurance plans.

3. Keep Arizona regionally competitive and encourage job creation by lowering the corporate income tax rate to the same rate as the individual income tax, 4.54 percent or lower.

4. Eliminate the capital gains portion of the state's income tax, especially on investment gains made within the state, in order to attract greater investment to the state.

5. Allow Arizonans to purchase any health insurance policy offered in the United States.

6. Pass a constitutional amendment giving authority to the State Treasurer to determine future revenue estimates within which the budget must be balanced and give the Treasurer authority to certify budgets as balanced.

7. Reassert legislative control over energy policy by sun-setting the Arizona Corporation Commission's Renewable Energy Standards Rules, which will cost Arizona utility consumers billions.

8. Create a personal use tax credit to allow parents to deduct the cost of private school tuition on their taxes.

9. Afford citizens enhanced protection against local government overreaches by enacting a statute that gives non-charter cities the option to adopt a Local Liberty Charter committing cities to principles of limited government.

10. Promote price competition in electricity and increased electrical capacity by amending the state constitution to repeal the Arizona Corporation Commission's power to regulate electricity rates and entry into the business of generating, distributing, and selling electricity.

"100 Ideas for 100 Days" is available online or by calling (602) 462-5000. The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog supported by people who are committed to expanding free enterprise and liberty.

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