Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who Really Pays When Legislation Is Passed?

Who Really Pays, Not the State, Not the City, But Me and You!

The the state legislature is looking to cut cost in order to balance the state budget as they are required by the Arizona Constitution. One way they are doing this is by passing along cost to the local governments and cities, in this case that means the City of Mesa.

Arizona's state legislature over the years has done a piss poor job of managing the revenues and have spent money they didn't have figuring that revenue would increase year after year. In addition to bad management, the citizen initiatives process has done damage to the budgeting process by taking out of the hands of the legislature the power to appropriate funds where they are needed.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us with about 2/3 of the states budget being on autopilot, meaning that expenses go up with out any control or oversight. What that means is that the legislature only has 1/3 of the budget that they can work with and unfortunately a major portion of that budget goes to education, social services and law enforcement.

Mayor Smith On The Soapbox

I have to agree with Mayor Smith when he say: "
What's lacking in the political debate is a full discussion of the overall consequences. It's disappointing that kind of discussion doesn't take place."
What the Mayor Smith was referring to is many of the bills introduced at that legislature have an impact upon local governments, which in turns increase the cost to the cities, in this case Mesa.

I think that Dinna Higgins comments also reflect the feelings of Mesa City Council:
What is the feeling that's going on in the Legislature that makes them feel they want to be council people?
So What Should Our Elected Official Do?
  1. They should ask how will this effect local communities?
  2. Is this a true cost saving or it just another way to move an expenses off of our books on to someone else?
  3. Is this an unfunded mandate that we are passing along. We don't like the federal government do it to the states, why are we doing it the towns and communities?
  4. Have I talked with community representatives about these bills?
These are just a couple of the questions I think our representative need to be asking.

The City of Mesa has both the Senate President Russell Pearce and Speaker of the House Kirk Adams as representatives and since the City of Mesa is the Second largest city in the State, I would hope these two individuals would be talking with Mayor Smith and City Manager Chris Brady.

No Matter What, We Still Pay

Granted the State of Arizona is in a tough budget and needs to reduce expenses to match revenue but at the cost of who? No matter how you cut it, it always come back to you and I the citizens to pay for it. Either at the local level or at the State level. If I had my choice it would be at the local level.

So I applaud the Council for getting up in arms over what the State is doing.

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