Democratic leaders say they will support a teacher strike
April 4, 2018
Senate Minority Whip Martin Quezada and House Assistant Minority Leader Randy Friese discuss the possibility of a teacher strike, the importance of universal background checks for guns and their disapproval of sending National Guard troops to the border.
Teachers demand a 20 percent raise
Teachers marched at the state capitol last week to announce their demands for a 20 percent raise in salary and no more tax cuts. That kind of increase may seem impossible to some, but others are convinced there is a way to give it to them.
“I think it’s important to recognize setting this 20 percent request sounds unreasonable only because we’ve been conditioned through many, many years of Republican leadership into believing the small, incremental increases they’ve been giving is meaningful when they really aren’t,” Quezada says.
Quezada says the legislature needs to start discussing tax increases – something Governor Doug Ducey has promised never to do. He suggests implementing an income tax on high income earners and closing tax loopholes.
“You have to remember that some of the neighboring states are already at that level,” Friese says. “If we give our teachers a 20 percent raise, we’re just catching up. There’s a couple ways of being stewards of our revenue. We have to think about increasing revenue and being responsible with the revenue we already have.”
If tax cuts are taken away from private schools then that’s approximately $160 million that can be put toward a teacher raise, Friese says. Like Quezada, he believes every option needs to be on the table in order to find a solution.
“In Arizona, we’ve consistently reacted only when situations reach crisis levels,” Quezada says. “A teacher strike will put us at a crisis level where our kids are being unsupervised, and if that’s what it takes to get our governor and legislature to act then maybe that’s what it takes.”
Gun safety laws
While Ducey appears to be taking a middle-of-the-road approach to gun safety laws, Friese says he will only pass bills with Republican consent. For a bipartisan plan, the governor would have to let go of what both the far left and the far right want.
“It’s politics over policy,” Friese says. “It’s politics over people. We have an opportunity here and I’m disappointed that we couldn’t work together to save lives.”
While the left have been seen to push for universal background checks stronger than the right, it’s still a largely bipartisan agreement. However, it’s been left out of any bill the governor has tried to pass.
“Without the universal background checks everything that’s in the plan right now is really just window dressing,” Quezada says. “It’s not really going to address the problems we have out in the community to keep our kids safe.”
Trump announces plans to send National Guard to the border
President Donald Trump has recently made the decision to send the National Guard to protect the border until a wall is made. Both Democrats on the show disagree with this move, saying it’s a poor use of our resources.
“Whenever President Trump is talking about the border you have to question whether this is a political move or if this is a common sense move,” Quezada says. “I think the president has really displayed what his past policies are regarding our border. This is just another stunt on his behalf.”