Just in from the AZ Capitol Times blog. What better day than the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers for a new special session to begin? That means they'll all be at the Capitol that day...
Published: December 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm
to address the continuing budget crisis will begin Thursday morning, but the votes to approve a package of bills that include a temporary sales tax increase don’t appear to be in line.
Legislative Republicans and Democrats haven’t agreed on much this year, but both are puzzled by Gov. Jan Brewer’s proclamation earlier today that the two parties have set aside their differences and hashed out a deal that would allow a sales-tax increase she favors to be sent to the ballot in March.
“(The) House does not have the votes at this time (and) nothing has changed since yesterday when we told (Brewer) the same thing. We continue to talk to members,” House Speaker Kirk Adams told Arizona Capitol Times.
“I don’t know why she is saying that. We’ve been very upfront and clear about it. As of now, we do not have the votes.”
Earlier today, media outlets reported Brewer was saying she had been assured by Adams and Senate President Bob Burns that they have secured the necessary Democratic votes to send the temporary one-cent sales tax hike to the ballot.
But that came as news to Democratic leaders.
“She hasn’t asked for a single (vote). We haven’t gotten a call,” said House Assistant Minority Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “She hasn’t talked to anybody.”
She added that neither Brewer nor GOP leaders have agreed to negotiate terms for a bipartisan agreement.
The special session will be the fifth of the year, and the fourth to deal with budget problems. The Arizona Constitution limits what lawmakers can do in a special session to only those thing the governor identifies in the call.
The call issued today includes: adjustments to the current year’s budget; a ballot referral to let voters decide the fate of a temporary sales tax increase; and a ballot referral to temporarily suspend a constitutional provision that prevents lawmakers from cutting voter-approved spending.
Retiring Arizona Prison Watch...
This site was originally started in July 2009 as an independent endeavor to monitor conditions in Arizona's criminal justice system, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist/anarchist's perspective. It was begun in the aftermath of the death of Marcia Powell, a 48 year old AZ state prisoner who was left in an outdoor cage in the desert sun for over four hours while on a 10-minute suicide watch. That was at ASPC-Perryville, in Goodyear, AZ, in May 2009.
Marcia, a seriously mentally ill woman with a meth habit sentenced to the minimum mandatory 27 months in prison for prostitution was already deemed by society as disposable. She was therefore easily ignored by numerous prison officers as she pleaded for water and relief from the sun for four hours. She was ultimately found collapsed in her own feces, with second degree burns on her body, her organs failing, and her body exceeding the 108 degrees the thermometer would record. 16 officers and staff were disciplined for her death, but no one was ever prosecuted for her homicide. Her story is here.
Marcia's death and this blog compelled me to work for the next 5 1/2 years to document and challenge the prison industrial complex in AZ, most specifically as manifested in the Arizona Department of Corrections. I corresponded with over 1,000 prisoners in that time, as well as many of their loved ones, offering all what resources I could find for fighting the AZ DOC themselves - most regarding their health or matters of personal safety.
I also began to work with the survivors of prison violence, as I often heard from the loved ones of the dead, and learned their stories. During that time I memorialized the Ghosts of Jan Brewer - state prisoners under her regime who were lost to neglect, suicide or violence - across the city's sidewalks in large chalk murals. Some of that art is here.
In November 2014 I left Phoenix abruptly to care for my family. By early 2015 I was no longer keeping up this blog site, save occasional posts about a young prisoner in solitary confinement in Arpaio's jail, Jessie B.
I'm deeply grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me throughout the years I did this work. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.
I've linked to some posts about advocating for state prisoner health and safety to the right, as well as other resources for families and friends. If you are in need of additional assistance fighting the prison industrial complex in Arizona - or if you care to offer some aid to the cause - please contact the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross at PO Box 7241 / Tempe, AZ 85281. firstname.lastname@example.org
until all are free -
MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)
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