Play the video above to see these stories on AZ Illustrated Politics for Friday, April 11:
Host Jim Nintzel sat down with National Republican Committeman Bruce Ash and Pima County Democratic Party Latino Caucus Chairman Vince Rabago. Among the topics:
STATE BUDGET: After several weeks of negotiations, Republican state lawmakers passed a budget this week with just one Democrat supporting the spending plan and Gov. Jan Brewer signed the budget on Friday. Rabago said the budget did not provide enough support for children’s welfare, education, universities and transportation projects. Ash said that funds were still limited because the economy had yet to recover enough to provide enough tax revenues to support those programs.
CITY BUDGET: As Tucson faces a multi-million-dollar budget shortfall, City Councilman Steve Kozachik has proposed ending a policy that allows police officers and firefighters to cash in unused sick leave. Some officers have waited until their final years to cash in the sick leave, which has allowed them to increase their pension plans. Rabago said that the practice made up for lower pay that officers and firefighters receive, while Ash said that the city, in general, isn’t doing enough to put more police officers on the streets.
A-10 FIGHTER JET: Sen. John McCain this week joined with U.S. Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) and other members of Congress to support continuing the mission of the A-10 Warthog, a fighter jet that provides close air support to troops on the battlefield. Ash said that Barber had not been doing enough to support the A-10, echoing complaints from Barber’s likely Republican challenger in this year’s midterms elections, former A-10 pilot and squadron leader Martha McSally. Rabago said that supporters of the A-10 had said that Barber had been working hard at saving the aircraft’s mission.
AZ Illustrated Politics is produced by Jim Nintzel. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.