Don't let government unions block pro-taxpayer reforms!

| March 5 2011

From Americans for Prosperity, AZ

URGENT ACTION ITEMS BELOW

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

Private-sector unions have a long history in America, and apart from occasional problems involving union violence, mob racketeering, and intimidation by union bosses of rank-and-file workers, they have sometimes served as a legitimate part of the American workplace. In a proper legal context, unions can sit across the table from employers, haggle over pay and benefits, and come to mutually beneficial arrangements that can increase workplace productivity.

But as the American public is learning from the ongoing turmoil in Wisconsin, government-worker unions are more problematic. Government unions do not sit across the table from their employers. In many cases, those unions actually use the political process to select their employers. They thus sit on the same side of the table as their employers, with no one at the table to defend taxpayers. This is most clearly the case with school boards, whose members are overwhelmingly selected and controlled by the teacher/administrator (educrat) unions.

The main danger posed by government unions in Arizona is that they tend to oppose reforms that would help workers, protect taxpayers, and improve our education system. Below are some examples of important Arizona reforms that are imperiled by union lobbying.

TAKE ACTION: At the bottom of this letter is a draft email that you can copy, edit, and paste into a personal email to your state Legislators. We need to tell Gov. Jan Brewer and our Legislators not to let government unions block important pro-worker, pro-taxpayer, and pro-education bills. At bottom is a list of email addresses for Arizona’s Senators, who need to hear from us as soon as possible. You can also search for your Legislators at this page:

http://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp

Import Reforms Imperiled by Government Union Opposition

1) URGENT! Government unions in Arizona oppose SCR 1028, a Paycheck Protection bill that will be debated on the Senate floor this coming Tuesday, March 8. SCR 1028 would protect the ability of Arizona workers to make their own decisions in the political process by prohibiting employers from deducting payments from any employee’s paycheck for political purposes without the express annual written consent of that employee. The police and fire unions oppose this reform (and have sabotaged the SB 1365 version, turning it into a very dangerous bill that must be stopped), even though the Paycheck Protection reform is designed to protect the paychecks of ALL Arizona workers, including rank-and-file police officers and firefighters.

2) URGENT! Municipal unions oppose SB 1322, which would require large cities in Arizona to open up city services to competition from the private sector. Municipal unions oppose competitive bidding, even though it would free up scarce resources for city budgets, increase employment, and provide great opportunities for small businesses. We received word from Senate President Russell Pearce that SB 1322 would be heard in the Senate Rules Committee, but it has not yet been scheduled for the Rules agenda on Monday.

3) Government unions oppose spending limit reforms such as SCR 1019 and SCR 1026, which would allow Arizona voters to implement spending limits strong enough to protect future taxpayers and to keep future legislatures and governors from getting back on the rollercoaster spending pattern that has put the state in such dire fiscal straits. Unions even oppose SB 1408, which would merely require budget transparency and alert taxpayers when legislators plan to increase state spending at an unsustainable rate.

4) Government unions oppose real pension reform. With defined-benefit union pension plans going bankrupt all around the country, state and local governments need to get their pension systems on a firm fiscal footing. SB 1340 would phase out defined-benefit plans for Arizona’s government workers, and ensure that future workers have access to defined-contribution plans with adequate funding. But government unions oppose SB 1340.

5) The teacher/administrator unions oppose all reforms that would let children escape from a public school system that is failing precisely because of union domination of local school boards. The unions thus oppose SB 1312 and HB 2581, which would help more of the children from Arizona’s economically challenged families attend independent, non-government schools. The bills would do so by expanding Arizona’s existing system of scholarship tax credits to include credits against the state’s luxury tax and severance tax. Arizona’s scholarship tax credits also save taxpayers money in the state and local K-12 education system, because the size of the average scholarship is less than $5,000, while the public system spends more than $9,000 per year on the average student.

The educrat unions also oppose SB 1553 and HB 2706, which would create a system of Arizona Empowerment Accounts designed to help disabled students to escape failing union-controlled public schools and enroll in independent, non-government schools. Arizona Empowerment Accounts would also save taxpayers money in the state and local K-12 education system, because the amount deposited in a child’s account would be less than the total amount allocated for that child under the current system.

TAKE ACTION: Below is a draft email that you can copy, edit, and paste into a personal email to your state Legislators. We need to tell Gov. Brewer and our Legislators not to let government unions block important pro-worker, pro-taxpayer, and pro-education bills. At bottom is a list of email addresses for Arizona’s Senators, who need to hear from us as soon as possible. You can also search for your legislators at this page:

http://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp

For Liberty, Tom

Subject line suggestions for your email:

Police and fire unions are trying to block Paycheck Protection!

Please don’t let the unions stop municipal government reform

Please don’t let the teacher unions block education reform

Dear Senator/Representative:

I am writing to you and to Gov. Brewer to ask you to stand firm against the government unions and to keep working hard to pass pro-worker, pro-taxpayer, and pro-education reforms.

The government unions oppose several important reform bills:

• The unions oppose SCR 1028, a Paycheck Protection bill that would protect the ability of all Arizona workers to make their own decisions in the political process by prohibiting employers from deducting payments from any employee’s paycheck for political purposes without the express annual written consent of that employee. The police and fire unions have already sabotaged the SB 1365 version of the reform, turning it into a very dangerous bill that must be stopped.

• The municipal unions oppose SB 1322, which would require large cities in Arizona to open up city services to competition from the private sector. Municipal unions oppose competitive bidding, even though it would free up scarce resources for city budgets, create private-sector jobs, and provide great opportunities for small businesses.

• Government unions oppose spending limit reforms such as SCR 1019 and SCR 1026, which would allow Arizona voters to implement spending limits strong enough to protect future taxpayers and to keep future legislatures and governors from getting back on the rollercoaster spending pattern that has put the state in such dire fiscal straits. Unions even oppose SB 1408, which would merely require budget transparency and alert taxpayers when legislators plan to increase state spending at an unsustainable rate.

• Government unions oppose real pension reform. With defined-benefit union pension plans going bankrupt all around the country, state and local governments need to get their pension systems on a firm fiscal footing. SB 1340 would phase out defined-benefit plans for Arizona’s government workers, and ensure that future workers have access to defined-contribution plans with adequate funding.

• The teacher/administrator unions oppose all reforms that would let children escape from a public school system that is failing precisely because of union domination of local school boards. This year, the unions oppose all of the important school choice bills (SB 1312, HB 2581, SB 1552, and HB 2706) that would help children get into high-quality non-government schools.

Please work hard to pass all of the above bills except for SB 1365 (which has been sabotaged and must be stopped). And thanks for all of your hard work down there at the Capitol!

Sincerely,

Joe & Jane Taxpayer
Anywhere, AZ

Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-Eastern Counties) sallen@azleg.gov
Sen. Frank Antenori (R-East and South Pima County), fantenori@azleg.gov
Sen. Nancy Barto (R-NE Phoenix and Cave Creek), nbarto@azleg.gov
Sen. Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert) abiggs@azleg.gov
Sen. Scott Bundgaard (R-Surprise, Sun Cities), sbundgaard@azleg.gov
Sen. Rich Crandall (R-Mesa) rcrandall@azleg.gov
Sen. Adam Driggs (R-NE Phoenix, Paradise Valley), adriggs@azleg.gov
Sen. Ron Gould (R-Mohave County), rgould@azleg.gov
Sen. Linda Gray (R-NW Phoenix), lgray@azleg.gov
Sen. Gail Griffin (R-Cochise County), ggriffin@azleg.gov
Sen. Lori Klein (R-Anthem/North Phx), lklein@azleg.gov
Sen. John McComish (R-Ahwatukee/Chandler), jmccomish@azleg.gov
Sen. Al Melvin (R-NW Tucson/Oro Valley), amelvin@azleg.gov
Sen. Rick Murphy (R-Glendale/Peoria), rmurphy@azleg.gov
Sen. John Nelson (R-Avondale/Goodyear/LP), jnelson@azleg.gov
Sen. Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), rpearce@azleg.gov
Sen. Steve Pierce (R-Yavapai County), spierce@azleg.gov
Sen. Michele Reagan (R-Scottsdale/FH), mreagan@azleg.gov
Sen. Don Shooter (R-Yuma County), dshooter@azleg.gov
Sen. Steve Smith (R-Pinal County), stevesmith@azleg.gov
Sen. Steve Yarbrough (R-Chandler), syarbrough@azleg.gov


Read more: http://www.americansforprosperity.com/030511-don%E2%80%99t-let-government-unions-block-pro-taxpayer-reforms#ixzz1Fj0Niumj

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