“Today I filed papers with the Secretary of State’s office to create the No New Taxes, No On Prop 204 committee to oppose the misleading promises made by the Quality in Education and Jobs Initiative.
“Prop 204 is genuinely bad policy. It makes a permanent, billion-dollar-a-year spending commitment; it provides for no oversight as to how the money is spent; and it makes no reforms that actually improve accountability or the quality of education. Prop 204 amounts to just throwing money at a problem and hoping that somehow, magically, things will just get better.
“It is the exact type of government spending that put Arizona’s budget in turmoil just a few years ago. We have to learn from the mistakes in our past, and we would be foolish to repeat them so quickly after our last experience.
“Arizona has proven that it can tighten its belt just like every family and small business across the state has done during this recession. We’ve balanced our budget, have a positive cash flow in terms of revenue collection, and now have $450 million in a state savings account to cushion future budget shortfalls. We still have a long way to go, but our state’s financial position has been slowly recovering. This simply is not the right time to make an open-ended, permanent new spending commitment and to increase taxes on hard working Arizonans.
“It doesn't help that, just two years ago, the central promise of the one-cent sales tax increase campaign was that it would be temporary. It can only breed cynicism and distrust of government when, less than two years later, voters are presented with a bait-and-switch proposition that makes the tax increase permanent before it's even expired. No wonder citizens have so little faith in promises made during campaigns.
“Prop 204 will derail the progress Arizona has made to act fiscally responsible by allowing special interest groups to lock-in excessive spending for programs and projects that have little to do with improving our schools.”