As the 2017 Arizona State legislative session ends, Gov. Doug Ducey was handed 14 softball pieces of legislation and one high heater.
The majority of soon-to-be laws that were handed to Ducey to sign at the end of the session we’re surprisingly not Republican-backed tax breaks that are all written under the promise of job creation and small business growth.
Let me explain: For the past few presidential administrations, high-ranking positions have been filled by former employees of Goldman Sachs, which yields the nickname Government Sachs.
The Arizona version of Goldman Sachs would be Intel.
We are just a smaller version, as high-ranking positions in governor’s administrations are filled by former employees of Intel.
Before you grab your torches and pitchforks and scream about the corporate welfare that is taking place in our own state for one of its biggest employers, your state legislators are in a tight spot.
We hear the term corporate welfare quite often. I think a better way of putting it is corporate extortion or corporate shakedowns.
In our case, Intel is one of the largest employers in the state.
The majority of those employees reside in the Chandler area. Intel is one of the pillars of the southeast Valley’s economy.
All Intel has to do is communicate to Ducey and your legislators that it is getting better offers, better tax breaks or better cash incentives to move their headquarters and their operations to a different state.
The impact of Intel leaving would be devastating.
Don’t believe me? Ask Houston what happened after Enron went down.
Now to the high and tight heater that Ducey was tossed at the end of the legislative session. This one is my favorite because it is a clear look into how the sausage is made and how the legislative chess game is played.
This thin slice of sneakiness comes courtesy of Republican state Rep. Jill Norgaard.
A while back, she tried to push legislation that would eliminate sales tax for jet seller NetJets. Ducey vetoed that piece of legislation.
This time, she sneaked it in to the Intel tax break bill, which almost guarantees Ducey will not veto it. Unbelievable!
One more piece caught my attention: On Wednesday, I discussed my excitement for a proposal by speaker J.D. Mesnard. It’s a smart move but it’s unbelievable.
The proposal called for 50 percent of increases in education spending from funds generated by Proposition 123 and the like to go directly to teacher raises. I — and most likely the majority of Arizona applauded — that proposal.
Ducey said Prop. 123 is settled and we are not going to renegotiate the terms of the settlement.
That statement made speaker Mesnard tuck his tail between his legs and head for the hills. He pulled the proposal from any piece of legislation that would be placed on Ducey’s desk.
Once again, that just shows how little our state’s legislators value education. That’s just sad.