Arizona 2022 Legislative Session Ends with $18 Billion Budget, Failure to Ban All Abortions, and 79 Bills Waiting for Ducey

The 2022 Arizona Legislative session ended Friday, after passing the annual budget and 385 bills – 79 of which are waiting for Governor Doug Ducey to sign or veto. Among the spending priorities is a massive expansion of the state’s school voucher system, which Ducey is expected to sign.

However, some political watchers note that the nearly $18 billion budget, composed of 12 bills, is full of pork – one example of which is a large tax credit for Hollywood the Republican leadership insisted on passing.

A proposed bill banning all abortions, meanwhile, was blocked.

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All Seven of Arizona’s Democratic Members of Congress Push for Earmarks, Republicans Don’t

Now that a 10-year ban on Congressional earmarks has ended, all seven Democrats in Arizona’s congressional delegation are requesting them. None of the four Republican members are. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07) wants to beautify light poles and several of the members want to expand public transit. Many of them are getting their requests approved as part of the $2.1 trillion infrastructure bill, which is expected to pass into law soon.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ-06) told The Arizona Sun Times Friday that the earmarks aren’t necessary, since they are for the types of projects local and state governments generally cover.

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Commentary: Seven Wild Examples of Congress’s Corrupt 2020 Earmarks, Exposed

Capitol with money around it

A fight is raging in Congress over proposals to restore the practice of spending “earmarks,” small provisions slipped into spending bills quietly authorizing millions for local projects and special interests. But a new report reminds us that despite a “ban” on earmarks being implemented in 2011, the practice never fully went away. 

Published by the advocacy group Citizens Against Government Waste, the 2021 Congressional Pig Book exposes 285 earmarks from fiscal year 2020, totaling $16.8 billion. Here are 7 wild examples of corrupt earmarks the new report exposes.

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Rep. Green to Reject ‘Corrupt’ Pelosi Earmarks

Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) blasted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) for reviving earmark spending in Congress, and said he plans to refuse to even participate in the earmarking process. 

“It’s rare for Congress to get anything right, but in 2011 after Americans rose up to usher in the Tea Party wave, Congressional Republicans got it right and banned earmarks,” Green said in statement. “Today, at a time when our national debt is at record highs, the last thing Congress should do is resurrect earmarks—one of the Swamp’s most corrupt practices.” 

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