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Private sector can help with traffic woes
Anyone who says talk is cheap hasn't hired a lobbyist lately.
Arizona governmental bodies know this well. They've been using millions of taxpayer dollars to pay lobbyists for years. Whether its fighting against tax cuts or for more government spending, government lobbyists are a powerful bunch.
Taxpayer-funded lobbying that is, government bodies lobbying other government bodies leads to fundamental problems in a free society. Government lobbyists crowd out the voice of regular Arizonans, and the practice itself grows government at a dizzying pace.
Not to be high of hand, but people living in the more . . . well, benighted regions of the country outside Arizona often fail to grasp life's more complex issues.
Like the efficacy of charter schools. People who dwell in these places just don't seem to get charters.
Charter schools proliferate in Arizona as nowhere else. Over 86,000 Arizona students attend some 500 charters here. Some of the state's most academically demanding schools, like Tempe Preparatory Academy, are charters.
State spending increases $92 per second over last year
Mayors using scare tactics to pressure legislators
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has written President Bush and wants a face-to-face meeting to talk about the city's share of homeland security and anti-terrorism funding.
Gordon is upset with Bush administration security outlays to states and major metropolitan areas that were announced Wednesday. The mayor feels the Phoenix metro area is being shortchanged.
The Phoenix metro area received $3.9 million in that allotment, less than smaller markets including Omaha, Neb.; Memphis, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; and Columbus, Ohio.
PHOENIX - Today the Arizona legislature issued a draft budget for next year and a key sticking point in the budget negotiations is expected to be funding for all-day kindergarten. Governor Napolitano requested $105 million for all-day kindergarten funding. Rather than setting aside the funding specifically for all-day kindergarten, the legislature proposed giving this amount to school districts to spend however they see fit. A new report shows all-day kindergarten funding is unlikely to raise Arizona's poor academic achievement.
It's coming down to crunch time in the legislative session. If you don't pay much attention to baseball until the World Series or if you're not a big fan of college basketball until March Madness - this is the time of year to keep an eye on your state Legislature.
In November, the Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Phoenix, released a telling case study of the rise of one of the nation's premier public universities, the University of Michigan.