The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

AZ Legislature Stalled Until Monday

This means they'll be making back-door deals all weekend, so don't let up - call your legislators' offices if you haven't already. This can't wait for me to wave a sign at them Monday morning. Now is a good time to make some noise.

Here's the link to the house, and the senate. No excuses. Find your lawmakers. Put them to work on early prisoner releases and decreasing overcrowding: everything else we'll deal with after this budget package is done. It seems appropriate to suggest that money saved by these actions could minimize cuts to other things, like schools. Ask them to check into whether or not the compassionate release requests have been met; last I heard they've been stalled awhile for political reasons, which means we need to generate inquiries.

More later.

Below is Doug Kilgore's AEA Legislative update.


The Senate Republican Caucus consists of 18 Senators. The 30 member Senate requires 16 votes to pass a bill.

With Senator Barbara Leff out of the country and Senator Ron Gould publicly opposed to the budget deal, Senate President Bob Burns had to count on every other Republican Senator to attend today's final vote on the budget and vote yes. It didn't happen.

Senator Thayer Verschoor (R - Gilbert) did not show up and could not be found. SB 1001 failed on a vote of 12 No, 14 Yes, and 4 Not Voting.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray changed his yes vote to no for the purpose of reconsideration on Monday, May 23.

The budget deal brokered by Governor Brewer, Senate President Bob Burns, and House Speaker Kirk Adams has stalled.

Without confirmation that the Senate would pass the budget, House Speaker Adams decided to adjourn the House until Monday at 1:30 p.m. after learning the Senate failed to pass SB 1001 and had adjourned until Monday at 10:00 a.m.

The Senate did not even vote on SB 1002 which included specifics on the $144 million in cuts to K-12 education and $155 million in cuts to the Department of Economic Security.

Two of the four budget bills did pass the Senate by wide margins with bipartisan support. These bills helped resolve an issue related to home mortgages and state agency budgets and fees.

Democrats refused to support the defeated bills because of the deep cuts to public schools and DES without any consideration of additional revenue.

It is unclear if there will be enough support on Monday to pass the budget.

In the interim there are sure to be attempts to offer deals to Democrats and pressure Senator Verschoor to support this devastating budget deal.

Observers of the budget process have seen this scenario before, and it does not serve the interests our state's citizens. With a budget deficit of over $2 billion dollars this year and nearly double that for the next year, it is time for a change of strategy.

It is time for a bipartisan budget process the focuses on a comprehensive solution that includes a mix of new revenue streams, targeted and limited cuts, and borrowing.

The AEA, along with the broad coalition of parents, social service advocates, and others are ready to work with Republican and Democratic legislators willing to work together on a solution that moves Arizona forward.

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