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Week in Review: What Are They Trying to Hide from Taxpayers?

March 4, 2023

What are they trying to hide?

The city of Phoenix doesn’t want residents to find out what their government is up to, so Goldwater is suing to uncover the truth. The city and its union enablers are illegally shutting the public out of contract negotiations—a process that is funded by Phoenix taxpayers and affects how their money is spent.

When the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, which represents most of the city’s police officers, flouted city code by failing to provide a public draft of its contract proposals, the city did nothing to hold the union accountable. Then when Goldwater requested public records related to these negotiations, the city refused to turn them over—in violation of Arizona’s Public Records Law. Now, Goldwater is suing to bring these public records to light.

Labor agreements are often used to hide wasteful, corrupt, and unconstitutional practices like release time, which “releases” public employees from their government responsibilities and allows them to work for their private union—on the public dime. But the Goldwater Institute has a long record of successfully challenging these illegal practices—and in Arizona and across the country, we’ll always fight for open, transparent government and to protect taxpayers.

Read more at In Defense of Liberty

Virginia Joins the Party on Universal Recognition

Goldwater sparked a national movement to free workers to pursue their American Dream—and Virginia just joined the party.

Just as Arizona celebrates 6,500 workers who’ve exercised their right to earn a living under Goldwater’s universal recognition of occupational licenses reform, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed legislation to help new arrivals to his state get to work faster, too.

Nearly half the states in the nation have now adopted the Goldwater Institute’s universal recognition reform—or Breaking Down Barriers to Work—which allows a licensed professional to apply for and be quickly granted a license to work based on the training or testing he or she has already completed out of state. We’re proud to have passed this important law across the country, and we look forward to enacting more reforms that prioritize the right to earn a living over the ability of bureaucrats to create red tape.

Read more at In Defense of Liberty, and find out more about universal recognition here

Governor Accidentally Endorses School Choice

Anti-school choice Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs is “perhaps the greatest living billboard for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) in the nation,” Goldwater Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes in the Arizona Capitol Times. Her life story trumpets the fundamental pillars of Goldwater’s universal ESA expansion, which allows every family in the state to use their child’s public education dollars to customize that student’s education experience: that ESAs help those in need, and that they lead to successful outcomes.

Gov. Hobbs has openly discussed the sacrifices her working-class family made to send her to private school. But “surely that choice would have been every bit as worthy—and far less punishing financially—if her family had been able to access an ESA,” Beienburg says. Why are working-class families deserving of aid if they attend public school, but not deserving of their own tax dollars if they want to pursue other education options? Moreover, Gov. Hobbs’ own life trajectory—from food stamps to the governor’s office—adds to the statistical evidence and sea of success stories debunking the teachers union narrative that private schooling is inferior and unaccountable.

Rather than opposing school choice, Beienburg concludes, “surely the governor…could instead celebrate expanding opportunities for students not only equal to—but beyond—what” she herself enjoyed.

Read more of Beienburg’s Arizona Capitol Times op-ed.



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