Friday, September 28, 2012

Sen. Gallardo again honored as a Leader of the Year

Receives Open Government Award from Arizona Capitol Times

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Steve Gallardo released the following statement after being named as a Leader of the Year in Public Policy by the Arizona Capitol. In an award ceremony held last night at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, Sen. Gallardo was presented with the Open Government Award for the second year in a row.
Sen. Gallardo
“I am proud to receive this award for my efforts to create better transparency and accountability in Arizona’s legislative process,” said Sen. Gallardo.

“For too long the ruling majority have operated behind closed doors, making critical decisions without input from those most affected – the public. Two years ago they even suspended some Senate rules to limit floor discussions and make their jobs easier. It’s no wonder public trust in the Legislature is at a historic low.”

“Last session I introduced ethics reform bills for both elected officials and lobbyists, which the Republican majority refused to hear. I remain undaunted and will reintroduce these much needed reform bills for the next session. As publicly elected officials, we owe it to the people of Arizona to represent them in a fully accountable and transparent manner.”

Monday, September 24, 2012

Republicans still refuse to return $50M mortgage settlement

Leave struggling families at risk to fund special interest giveaways

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – This afternoon Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced how the state, in his words, "will utilize the $57 million dollars allocated as part of the National Mortgage Settlement."

Arizona's actual allocation from the National Mortgage Settlement is more than $97 million, plus $10 million from a settlement with Bank of America.

So what happened to the missing $50 million dollars?

The Republican-controlled Legislature and Governor Brewer swiped it to fund special interests.

Instead of helping struggling homeowners, Republicans swiped half the fund while spending money on more private prisons and giving away $440 million in tax cuts for corporations and Wall Street investors.

Since 2007, Republicans have also cut more than $2.9 billion from our kids' schools and kicked tens of thousands of children off healthcare.

Arizona Senate Democrats have stated that sweeping the $50 million from the mortgage settlement was not necessary and have called on Governor Brewer and Legislative Republicans to halt the sweep.

Now they act as if the $50 million doesn't exist.

Sen. Schapira
"This hard-fought settlement is meant to help Arizona families who are struggling to keep their homes, not to fund tax breaks for special interests," said Sen. David Schapira.

"Republicans should care about Arizona families, not special interests, and put an end to their sweep of the mortgage settlement."