The more we learn about the Republican budget that passed in the dark of night with no public review and without a transparent democratic process, the more clearly we can see how detrimental it is for the people of Arizona.
The budget fails by cutting basic poverty programs that provide emergency food for hungry children and families. By drastically cutting education at all levels it opens the doors to increased poverty and imprisonment. It reduces health care for low income adults and children, and increases the vulnerability of struggling families. It removes funds that were supposed to be used to help save the homes of families harmed by sinking mortgages.
Social service agencies predict that the budget will both increase homelessness and expand the injustices inflicted on women and children of Arizona.
All across our state, citizens are increasingly alarmed and disturbed by the callous disregard this budget inflicts on children, families and vulnerable adults.
All in the name of balance. But balancing what? Certainly not the needs of our citizens in the transition to a healthier economy. Sacrificing the welfare of our citizens does not enhance the strength of our state. Nor does it reflect the values of our nation.
It did not have to be this way. There were other solutions that could have been used. But Republican legislators stood by and simply rejected an opportunity to intervene.
That includes each of the legislators from our region: Brenda Barton, Bob Thorpe and Sylvia Allen. You can blame them for dereliction of duty: they failed to protect vulnerable citizens of our state. They stood by and did nothing. In fact, Barton, Thorpe and Allen even voted to approve the drastic cutbacks in this cryptocratic budget.
Remember those names as you watch the deterioration of human rights across our state in the coming years. Remember how Barton, Thorpe and Allen kept silent and abandoned their constituents. Remember that it was they who could have demanded changes, but they failed to do so.
It was Barton and Thorpe and Allen who cast the votes needed to pass this treacherous budget. Their votes could have made a difference, but they chose to let their constituents suffer.
Barton, Thorpe and Allen are the ones who are responsible for this mess. Disregarding their constitutional duties, they failed their constituents, just as they have done so often in the past and will continue to do so in the future ... if we allow them to "represent" us in the state legislature.
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