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There are 20 item(s) tagged with the keyword "Taxes".

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1. Charity Donation Ideas - 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, you have likely received many requests for donations.  There are many worthy charities and organizations, including your local church!  Gila Watch has some favorites for your consideration.

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Tags: American Values, Abortion, Families, Constitution, Religious Freedom, Pro Life, Schools, Taxes, Common Core, Bill of Rights
2. Rep. Bob Thorpe's Letter Regarding Transgender Bathrooms

Recently, Gila Watch published Arizona Joins Texas in Lawsuit to Stop Federal Overreach.  Arizona joined this lawsuit following a letter from Arizona lawmaker Representative Bob Thorpe (R-LD6).  Rep. Thorpe has provided the letter to Gilbert Watch, as well as the data for how the State, Local and Federal education funds break down for 2014-2015.  

Dear Arizona Superintendent of Schools Diane Douglas and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich:

Legislators have been receiving numerous complaints from constituents who are very concerned with the threatening tone of the May 13, 2016 letter from U.S. Attorney General Lynch and U.S. Department of Education Secretary King.

The letter coerces our nation’s K-12 public schools and colleges to ensure that transgender students must be allowed to use the gender designated restrooms, changing rooms and locker facilities of their choosing, not necessarily that of their biological gender. It has been estimated that approximately 0.3% of U.S. individuals identify themselves as transgender.

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Tags: Educational Malpractice, Schools, Taxes, Arizona Legislature, Bureaucracy, Constitution
3. Arizona Joins Texas in Lawsuit to Stop Federal Overreach

In response to a letter from Arizona lawmaker Representative Bob Thorpe (R-LD6), Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas announced that Arizona will Join Texas in a Lawsuit to Stop Federal Overreach.  Co-signers of Rep. Thorpe's letter included Sen. Sylvia Allen (R-LD6), and Representatives Brenda Barton (R-LD6)Paul Boyer (R-L20)Karen Fann (R-LD1)Mark Finchem (R-LD11)Anthony Kern (R-LD20), and Vince Leach (R-LD11).  (Please express your thanks to Bob Thorpe and the other legislators who signed his letter, as well as Mark Brnovich and Diane Douglas.  See email addresses below.)

The COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF concerns the May 13, 2016 "Joint Guidance" issued by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education relating to requiring public schools that receive federal funding to allow transgender students to use whatever restroom or locker room they wish, based on how they identify their gender.  

The threat to withdraw federal funding from any school that doesn't comply is very clear in this sentence: "Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student's sex, including a student's transgener status."

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Tags: Bureaucracy, Educational Malpractice, Schools, Taxes
4. U.S. Department of Education's Major Accomplishment: Staggering Illiteracy

Zero Hedge recently published an article titled Department of Education - Our Work Here is Done.  A few items from that article include:

The Department of Education was created in 1979 and now has an annual budget of $73 billion, with 5,000 government bureaucrats roaming its hallways.  See U.S. Department of Education Budget Fact Sheet

After 37 years and trillions of dollars "invested" in our children, here is a short list of some "achievements":   1) There are six million students in the California school system, and 25% of those students are unable to perform basic reading skills.  2) 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level.  3) 45 million adults are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level.  4) 3 out of 4 people on welfare can't read.  5) 20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage.  6) School dropouts cost our nation $240 billion in social service expenditures and lost tax revenues.  7) 3 out of 5 people in American prisons can't read.  8) Approximately 50% of Americans read so poorly that they are unable to perform simple tasks such as reading prescription drug labels.

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Tags: Educational Malpractice, Bureaucracy, Schools, Taxes
5. HB2115 Passes the Government and Higher Education Committee

"Everything at the City of Phoenix is geared toward the employees," DiCiccio said.  "The taxpayers come last, always."  See Undisciplined Bureaucracy: Civil Service Job Protections Make Disciplining a Problem Government Employee Complicated, Costly and Time Consuming    

An extremely good bill, HB2115 passed its first Committee hearing on 1/28/2015: 6 in favor, 2 against, 1 absent.  It would have passed 7-2, because Rep. Justin Olson (LD25), who was absent, was one of the bill's Primary Sponsors.  But it has a long way to go to become law.

Please recall from my original articleRep. Warren Petersen (LD12) crafted this legislation as a deterrent, making public officials think twice before illegally spending thousands of taxpayer dollars, thinking they can walk away with lucrative taxpayer-paid benefits or severance pay.  After watching the committee hearing, including Phoenix Council member Sal DiCiccio's comments, it's clear that government employees enjoy far more "job protections and tolerance for bad behavior" than private sector employees.  

In the case of Stephen Banta, CEO of Valley Metro, following an investigation by The Republic, they reported that Banta was reimbursed with taxpayer funds for flying first-class, buying alcohol, staying in $600/night hotels, and eating in some of the most expensive restaurants in Portland, charging all of it to the taxpayers, while running Valley Metro. This included 44 round-trip airfares between Phoenix and Portland from February 2010 to July 2012 for Banta and his wife.  The Republic also found that Banta was reimbursed for dinners that included guests who said they didn't attend those dinners.   

In spite of all this, Banta was awarded $265k in an annuity upon termination of employment.  

Democrat Lela Alston (LD24), who voted against the bill, commented:  "Maybe his contract should have read: 'You can't take your wife on vacations using public funds.'" Democrat Jonathan Larkin (LD30) agreed.

In another recent case

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Tags: Arizona Legislature, Bureaucracy, Taxes
6. Support HB2115: No Payouts/Benefits for Public Officials Who Misappropriate Taxpayer Dollars!

Rep. Warren Petersen has crafted legislation that will have a chilling effect on public officials who illegally waste money and then walk away with lucrative benefits or severence pay.  It's HB2115 Simple, straightforward, brief.  (This bill is scheduled to be heard Jan. 28 at 9:00 am in the Government and Higher Education Committee.  See ACTION at the end of this article.)

Should a public official who is caught and terminated for fraudulently, lavishly spending taxpayer dollars on meals, travel, hotels, entertaining, etc., go on to receive lucrative payouts, annuities, pensions, and other benefits?  

Rep. Warren Petersen doesn't think so, and neither do the many other sponsors and co-sponsors  of this excellent bill.  HB2115 spells out that anyone who is found guilty would forfeit any future benefits. While there already are laws on the books against fraud and misappropriation of public funds, these cases don’t always get pursued as the official is fired or even allowed to quit.

HB2115 ensures that these public officials forfeit any future benefits.  States Petersen: “All too often, those who are caught and terminated leave with lavish payouts, annuities, pensions and other benefits.  Termination from a high position in government office should not be like winning the Lotto. Rewarding someone for bad behavior can only encourage more of the same.” See Petersen Seeks to Prevent Lavish Payouts to Errant Public Officials.
Two cases come to mind: 

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Tags: Arizona Legislature, Bureaucracy, Taxes
7. Sylvia Allen Challenges Voters: You Decide
Tags: Taxes
8. Vote NO to the Payson Unified School District 10% M&O Override
Tags: Schools, School Board, Taxes
9. Please come to hear Candidates for Payson School Board!
Tags: Common Core, Taxes, Schools
10. Payson Board Member Wrong about the Gilbert School District
Tags: School Board, Taxes
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