AZ Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is far from a champion for Main Street Americans. Under her tenure, Arizona passed a radical anti-immigrant law that made the state infamous throughout the nation, and several residents of her state died after she cut funds to the state’s Medicaid organ transplant program. Additionally, she wants to kick almost 100,000 people off the state’s Medicaid rolls, leaving them with nowhere to go.
Yet as she has been fostering radical right-wing policies in her state, she shouldn’t be surprised when the leadership of her state legislature has now outflanked even her in its extremism. Earlier this year, Brewer unveiled a budget plan that would cut a whopping $170 million from the state’s college education funds. Yet for the Republicans who control the state legislature, that simply wasn’t good enough.
The Senate Republicans endorsed a plan that actually cuts 50 percent more overall than Brewer’s budget and adds an additional $65 million worth of cuts to the state’s higher education system. Yesterday, during a speech in Prescott Valley, Brewer slammed the budget plan of Senate Republicans, calling it full of gimmicks and saying that it would simply pass on costs to localities. She concluded, “We don’t need quick cuts just because it sounds good“:
But Brewer, speaking in Prescott Valley on Tuesday, said, “We don’t need quick cuts just because it sounds good.” She later accused the Senate of also using gimmicks to balance the budget by passing costs on to counties.
“They keep saying they don’t want any gimmicks, they don’t want any magic,” she said. “But in a lot of areas, they are shipping (the costs) to the counties, to the cities, they are shipping it to the taxpayers. Those are all gimmicks.”
Arizona students — who have already seen “$200 million in cuts” in funding to their universities over the past two years — are not taking the cuts lying down. The Arizona Republic reports that 1,400 students at just three universities protested against the GOP proposals yesterday. Watch their video report:
It’s worth pointing out that Brewer unfortunately has contributed to the budget problems that are being used by the Republicans in her legislature to justify bigger education cuts. Earlier this year, Brewer push for and signed into law corporate tax “cuts that will cost Arizona $538 million by 2018.”