Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on December 11, 2016 · Page E5
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page E5

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Page E5
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ROBERT ROBB EDITORIAL COLUMNIST T he legal duel between Attorney General Mark Brnovich and the City of Tucson over guns is more complicated than is being depicted. Tucson has an ordinance instructing the Police Department to destroy guns that come into its possession that don’t need to be retained for evidence. The Legislature has passed a law forbidding that, saying that such guns must be returned to the market for legal use. This last legislative session, another law was enacted to punish cities that don’t comport with state law. A complaint process was established whereby legislators could bring such violations to the attention of the attorney general. If the attorney general finds that there is aconflict with either the state Constitution or statute, then the revenues the city gets from the state income tax are suspended until the conflict is remedied. If the attorney general finds that there might be a conflict, he is to bring the matter to the state Supreme Court to decide. Brnovich found that there may be a conflict with Tucson’s gun destruction ordinance. The Tucson City Council voted to tell him to go hang. So, Brnov- Legal duel over guns in Tucson is complicated SeeROBB,Page7E WWW.AZCENTRAL.COM || SUNDAY,DECEMBER 11,2016 || 5E What is the best way to invest our limited government resources to create a healthy and prosperous future? Agroup of diverse Arizonans concluded that Arizona’s government financing system does not follow the best practices for government finance systems, fails to adequately invest in basic needs and, instead, creates larger than needed costs for incarceration and other social services that could be avoided with wiser investments that take a longer term view. Our conclusion and recommendations took time and effort. In preparation for the 109th Arizona Town Hall on “Financing Arizona’s Future,” participants reviewed a comprehensive report about our state’s revenue and spending. At the Town Hall itself, we spent three days hearing from national experts and discussing and deliberating the issues. The background report provided a wealth of insight about general fund revenue and spending that exceeds $9 billion each year, including these examples: » Almost 90 percent of revenue comes from individual and corporate income taxes (46 percent) and sales taxes (44 percent); » Over 90 percent of spending is allocated to only five major areas: K-12 Education (45.5 percent), AHCCCS and other health care (19.5 percent), Prisons (11 percent), Universities (7.5 percent), and Economic Security and Child Safety (9.5 percent). For more than 20 years we have consistently reduced both revenue and spending, as a percentage of our state’s economy. In addition, we have become more dependent on highly cyclical income and sales taxes, producing surpluses in years of high growth, but large deficits when we are hit by recession. Town Hall participants concurred that we have not been investing properly and that the bias in favor of tax decreases has gone too far to the point of harming our economic future. We must invest in educating Arizona’s children so that they become productive citizens and we can meet the workforce needs of high-wage employers. We also need to BRIGHT KEEPING OURFISCAL FUTURE KEEPING OUR FISCAL FUTURE Town Hall participants: Arizona hasn’t been investing properly, should focus on education and infrastructure SeeFINANCES,Page7E Benson, 6E Better times give us a chance to focus on poverty and schools. PAGE 6E Editorial Really bad behavior makes you qualified to be president. PAGE 6E Letters to the Editor REACH US || PHIL BOAS, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, PHIL.BOAS@ARIZONAREPUBLIC.COM || OPINIONS.AZCENTRAL.COM Since Donald Trump scored the political upset of the century, his critics have worked through four of the five stages of grief at breakneck speed. Denial: As the cable nets showed state after state turning orange, media mavens and seasoned politicos wondered if they’d gone color blind. “If she can get Michigan, Nebraska, and Wyoming, she’s still in this!” Election analysts kept reloading the vote tally from American Samoa trying to convince themselves this can’t be happening! And those poor workers at Hillary’s inaptly named Victory Party broke into tears after not breaking the glass ceiling. Anger: Progressives, many of whom didn’t bother to vote, rampaged through their progressive cities to smash the windows of their progressive neighbors. For some reason. As protesters attacked motorists, left coasters flooded the website of Yes California, a group demanding that the Golden State secede from the union. Bargaining: Celebrities shared memes insisting Hillary actually won, linking to stories of the growing popular vote gap. Democrats encouraged electors to ignore their state’s voters, while rogue Republicans offered Gov. John Kasich as a safer option. Liberals with more money than sense sent millions to failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s doomed recount initiative. JON GABRIEL Pace yourselves, Trump critics SeeGABRIEL,Page7E OUR TURN KEVIN OLSON AND SHEILA BREEN ILLUSTRATION BY RICK KONOPKA/GANNETT; GETTY IMAGES R1

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