Within a few weeks, Arizona became infamous for a string of bills. The birther bill requires hard proof of US-birth to be on the AZ ballot. The concealed carry law now lets anyone carry a concealed weapon, no permit or training required. The immigration law lets local police check immigration status. The ethnic studies bill bans ethnic studies classes in schools. Jon Stewart pointed out that the states are supposed to be the laboratories of democracy, but all this caused him to dub Arizona “the meth lab of democracy.”
But yesterday, voters actually passed Prop 100. In a Republican state, we just voluntarily raised the sales tax 1% for three years, because otherwise schools and public safety were facing enormous budget cuts. My district is still going to have to cut back spending, but this sales tax will save us about $6 million. In a state that already ranks 51st in per-pupil spending on education, further cuts would have been disastrous. I am so grateful to (and pretty surprised by) Arizona voters. Even the NY Times is proud of us.