Wednesday, November 23, 2005

State, County, and Municipal Employees Association Comes Out Against Bond Issue!

By Debbie Pelley (click "comments" below for article)


Blogger Debbie Pelley said...

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employyes (AFSCME)

Resolution Opposing Bond Question One

> WHEREAS, Referred Question No 1, the Arkansas Interstate Highway Financing Act, would authorize a perpetual debt of $575 million; and

> WHEREAS, The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Commission of five unelected and unaccountable members will obligate taxes on our children and grandchildren in an endless cycle of debt without oversight by the people or of the legislature; and

> WHEREAS, Amendment 20 to the Arkansas Constitution, adopted by the people in 1934, has been a bulwark of fiscal responsibility by preventing public debt backed by the full faith and credit of the state without a vote of the people; and

> WHEREAS, Referred Question No. 1 was drafted by Wiley Jack Williams, a Little Rock bond lawyer and sponsored by Senator Gilbert Baker, Chairman of the Republican party of Arkansas; and

> WHEREAS, Before a single dollar is spent on improving roads, it is projected that $170 million of the funds will go to mortgage bankers and an additional $8 million to bond lawyers who prepare documents; and

> WHEREAS, Governor Huckabee cynically suggests that granting authority to his appointees “save voters the time and cost of holding elections” and if people are not satisfied, then they can go back to the polls and end the bonding authority by collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures to get an initiated act or ballot issue; and,

> WHEREAS, We have concluded that irresponsible “Borrow and Spend”
policies incurring $950 million in permanent long-term state debt in exchange for $575 million in highway money for a depreciating asset is not cost-effective, fiscally responsible, nor good economic stewardship of the people’s tax dollars; and,

WHEREAS, Council 38 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union has long fought to assure that the voice of the people will be heard at the ballot box and that the unaccountable special interests will not manipulate public finances for their own benefit;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that AFSCME Council 38, on behalf of the interest of the citizens and working families in the State of Arkansas, expresses our opposition to Referred Question No. 1 and urges our members and friends to vote NO on December 13.

9:03 AM, November 23, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

In fairness to the Governor and eliminating as much spin as possible, the last "whereas" is using numbers for the last highway bond issue that are different from the Highway Commission's estimates. The costs for this issue will be like getting $575 million by spending about $800 million. Now $217 million or so in interest and bond fees is not a small matter, but it is not the same figures the truckers are using.

10:14 AM, November 29, 2005  
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