“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” — Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
- The Tucson Tea Party was instrumental in the successful election of fiscally conservative state senators and state representatives in three of six local legislative districts.
-Tea Party events open to all candidates, from all political parties, provided candidates a particularly important vehicle to communicate their message and recruit campaign volunteers.
-Your efforts as supporters and volunteers for your candidate helped many candidates get elected to state office.
The Finance Advisory Committee projects a surplus of $143 million for FY2013. The “temporary” one-cent-per-dollar increase in the sales tax expires on May 31, 2013, with one month left in the fiscal year. Economists project that the state will be in the red anywhere from $510 million to $900 million in FY2014.
Our state legislature this past year, balanced the state budget, albeit on the back of an increased state sales tax, with borrowed money, stripping the state’s rainy day fund, and with the use of funds swept from other agency budgets, without RAISING YOUR STATE INCOME TAXES. The 2012 state budget was 20% smaller than the state budget in 2008. Was it a perfect budget? No. Did they make difficult cuts to balance the budget? Yes. Is our state out of trouble yet? NO. Period. Exclamation point!
Our news is saturated with the trials and travails of national politics. It’s very easy to get caught up in these important battles. And, it is necessary. However, your sphere of influence is greatest in your local community. Tucson Tea Party members must at all times, remain equally focused on the actions of our local state legislators.
Your elected representatives, right now, are actively engaged in drafting their personal, and party, legislative agenda’s for the upcoming legislative session. Have you recently communicated to them? Have you asked them what their priorities are? More importantly, have they told you what their priorities are in the next session? Will they restore the state’s “rainy day fund” with our surplus revenues? Will they pay off debt with surplus revenues? Will they budget in such a way as to eliminate the “temporary” sales tax increase? Or, will the prospects of a short lived budget surplus tempt them to spend more?
Do not take anything for granted. Communicate directly with your elected representatives and make sure your Tucson Tea Party values are reflected in their actions. You have more influence here, than you do in the arena of national politics. Keep your eyes on local media for news of your elected representatives strongly supporting “initiatives”, “important projects”, and “vital needs”. Are these code words for new spending? Your common sense, and involvement, is their check and balance.
Here is a link to the State of Arizona’s legislature’s website http://www.azleg.gov/ . There is an easy registration form. No fee is required. You may use this link to query pending bills. You can also query based on an individual legislator. We urge you to learn to use this. Some terms to remember, HB (House bill) HCR (House continuing resolution) HR (House resolution)Note: Resolutions are not binding. Similar terms apply for the state senate. Important note: Many of the bills are introduced last minute. Don’t think that they are not now actively drafting legislation.
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” – James Madison Federalist no. 51
Your Tucson Tea Party is looking forward to an exciting year ahead. Enjoy your holidays! We all have important work to do in 2012.