SENATE MAJORITY PLAN 2012
The Senate Majority Program provides a framework of goals and objectives within the Republican Caucus for the 50th Legislature. The Caucus recognizes the importance of freedom and individual liberty, the promotion of growth and strength in our economy, and responsible government. It is important to reflect on the priorities of government and ensure that they are consistent with the will of the electorate and meet the needs of the citizens of the State. As such, we intend to execute this plan to promote sound public policy through a diverse legislative package.
Balanced Budget: We will build on last year’s balanced budget by planning for the upcoming budget challenges.
Effectively manage revenues and expenditures in FY 2013
Achieve a balanced FY 2014 budget without re-instituting the 1% sales tax
Refer a new constitutional spending limit to the ballot
Identify permanent budget reductions and eliminate one-time solutions
Identify and reform spending formulas that dictate fiscal planning
Continue to increase Arizona’s credit rating by implementing permanent budget solutions
Identify efficiencies needed in state agencies by elimination of redundancies
Begin to reduce Arizona’s indebtedness
Reinvigorate Arizona’s Economy: Economies develop best, grow quickest, and benefit the greatest number of citizens when allowed to grow and develop in a free market. We will reinvigorate Arizona’s economy through tax reform, regulation reform, education reform, tort reform, healthcare reform, and on providing infrastructure and low cost energy supply. Tax policies will be policy neutral to not affect individual decision making, should apply broadly, should be simple to lower compliance costs and should be transparent to taxpayers. To attract businesses toArizonaand to support existing Arizona businesses, we will:
Accelerate tax reforms in the 2011 Arizona Competitiveness legislation
Increase the exemption on the business personal property tax, accelerate depreciation, and apply the exemption to each business location
Pursue market-based sales factor for service industries
Encourage the construction and infrastructure necessary for job growth
Pursue tort reform policies
Phase out Arizona Capital gains taxes
Enhance economic growth by reducing unnecessary regulations that delay business expansion
Continue to seek opportunities that make the public pension systems stronger, reducing unfunded liabilities
Education: Arizona will have a top performing school system. Removing barriers to our education system by promoting policies that put students first and encourage innovation is critical. Student-based funding should be considered and we should strengthen student choice and education alternatives.
Facilitate the use of technology in education.
Expand parental choice in education
Improve financial accountability and data tracking in our school system
Reduce mandates and regulatory requirements on our school system
Simplify education funding formula
Seek accountability in student and teacher performance
Explore charter school conversion
Pursue efficiencies in consolidation of infrastructure
Increase accountability in higher education
Examine governance and funding structures of post-secondary education institutions.
We must work within the confines of our budgetary constraints to manage the State’s Medicaid program. We must fight for greater flexibility, promote accountability and encourage transparency. Greater choice and competition in the health care market provide the best options for consumers. We must encourage policies that move toward greater access and affordability.
Oppose all efforts for participation in Obama Care
Lower health care costs by allowing cooperative purchasing and interstate purchasing of health insurance
Expose fraud within AHCCCS to better utilize limited resources
Implement means testing and drug testing for public health care benefits
Natural Resources, Water, Environment: Arizona is a state of vast natural resources that have not been fully realized. While it is important to maintain environmental stability, we must find an appropriate balance of stewardship and economic growth.
Require the use of sound, proven science in environmental regulations
Advocate federal reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act to reduce the threat of wildfire and maximize opportunities for sustainable development
Maintain Arizona’s remarkable record of ensuring sustainable use of water resources and explore mechanisms for ensuring sustainable water supplies for communities currently dependent on groundwater
Consider legislation to acquire federal lands whose mismanagement and neglect by federal agencies makes them a threat to neighboring communities
Transportation: Efficient transportation infrastructure is fundamental to a growing economy. We must do what we can to keep current projects on schedule, promote a competitive process for building our roadways and maximize interstate development.
Ensure that Arizona is capable of building and maintaining its transportation system
Criminal Justice, Public Safety: Public safety remains a priority for the caucus. We must provide the necessary tools for our law enforcement to protect our citizens.
Evaluate Child Protective Services and make necessary reforms.
Review Arizona State Guard statutes.
Protect and preserve 2nd Amendment rights for Arizona citizens
States’ Rights: States must protect their constitutional sovereignty from an overreaching federal government. Fidelity to our nation’s founding principles means that both the state and the federal government must be independent from each other so they can effectively hold each other in check to prevent the abuse of government power.
Attempt to restore Federal lands to state management.
Determine the extent that federal mandates affect the state.
Border Security: The federal government’s failures to respond, secure, and maintain our border with Mexico has placed Arizona in a position of vulnerability. This failure has cost Arizona taxpayers millions and compromises our safety.
Family, Social Policy: We will support policies that maintain the rights of families and promote the best interests of children.
Protect the life of pre-born children.
Property Rights: We will protect homeowners and businesses from intrusive actions taken by the government that diminish the value of private land and property or jeopardize personal freedoms.