Friday, May 07, 2010

Arizona's Proposition 100

This is so annoying.

There's a problem with State revenues and budget projections that will require further major cuts in the budgets of various sectors of State government. The proposed Proposition 100 would create a temporary one cent increase in the State sales tax to lessen the cuts that will otherwise me made in education, public safety and health care. They say two thirds of the anticipated $1 billion dollars in revenue will go to education, and apparently the lion's share of the rest will go to public safety.

One of the complaints among the commenters on the Yes on 100 blog is that there's not enough information about how the money would be spent. Maybe a complete breakdown is too much to ask, or maybe it's available and I just have not found it.

Someone suggested looking at the two budgets that the Arizona Legislature had proposed or passed, one with and one without revenues stemming from this temporary sales tax hike. I looked for them, but could not find anything on the Legislature's web page. Maybe it's there and I just didn't see it.

The particular tidbit I was looking for has to do with the public safety allocation, justification for which includes a scare line about having to release thousands of non-violent prisoners, by which they mean, for the most part, thousands of non-violent drug offenders.

Non-violent drug offenders should not be incarcerated in the first place. Their incarceration is the result of bad public policy, the power of the prison-cop complex, deep corruption in the halls of power, stupid authoritarianism and a refusal to recognize that prohibition is as bad today as it was when it was applied to the that really dangerous drug: alcohol.

It would be so easy for me to vote Yes on Proposition 100 if whatever portion of its revenues that will support keeping non-violent drug offenders incarcerated were, instead, going to education. As it is, I will have to hold my nose tightly when I probably vote Yes.

in reference to: Homepage | Yes On 100 (view on Google Sidewiki)

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